9 May 2013
For immediate release Thursday 9 May 2013
Red Cross debuts first aid motorbikes at St Catherine’s Big Bike Ride in Preston
British Red Cross first aid motorbikes will make their debut at Preston’s Big Bike Ride for St Catherine’s hospice care, on Sunday 12 May between 9 am - 5 pm.
Volunteers from the Red Cross provide first aid cover at many events like these throughout the country, using ambulances, 4x4s and bicycles. They are now adding two Suzuki motorbikes to their fleet of medical vehicles, to provide even more essential first aid at public events.
First aid motorcycles are already used in the ambulance service to provide rapid access and urgent care to people and now the Red Cross are doing the same. The Big Bike Ride in Preston will be the debut event for the Suzuki Burgman first aid motorbike.
The Big Bike Ride is raising money for St Catherine’s Hospice, with participants choosing from a 50 or 20 mile ride, starting at Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lightfoot Green Lane, Fulwood.
A Red Cross first aid volunteer will be riding the Suzuki Burgman 400 ZA at the fundraiser on Sunday. The bike was selected for its stability at low speed, as it operates effectively around crowds.
The bike is equipped with full resuscitation capability, including a defibrillator (a life-saving machine that gives the heart an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest) and oxygen.
The motorbikes are only operated by volunteers who have a high level of first aid training, including vital resuscitation support training. All riders also undertake a motorcycle handling course which includes written exams. This has been written and delivered by an external, specialist company.
Richard Hankins, head of event first aid for the British Red Cross, said: “Our first aiders will be using these bikes to help them save lives and reduce suffering. We believe the fact we now have the bikes will be really appreciated by competitors and event organisers alike. We've already received a large number of bookings: these are mostly for cycle races, sponsored walks, marathons and other mass participation events on public roads.”
Notes to editors
Photograph attached of Red Cross volunteers on first aid motorbikes. Credit Phil Hill.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.
St Catherine’s hospice care provide specialist palliative care within Central Lancashire covering the three boroughs of Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. St Catherine's helps people to live as independently as possible with medical conditions that, although they are incurable, can be treated and quality of life improved. Care is provided free of charge at home, outpatients, day therapy and overnight in the Hospice.