New team of First Aiders on bikes being trained across Surrey

A new team of First Aiders on bicycles is being trained across Surrey to speedily get to those in need at large events.

The St John Ambulance Cycle Responders will be on duty at events such as festivals, that cover a large area with dense crowds which make it difficult for vehicles to get to a casualty.

The Cycle Responders will ride a mountain bike kitted out with enough equipment to make it effectively a mini-ambulance on two wheels.

The charity hopes seven new Cycle Responders will be trained up next month to join the existing team of ten.

St John Ambulance South East regional operational cycling officer, Peter Leach, said: “We already have a small team of Cycle Responders, but there aren’t enough of them to cover the events for which we receive requests.”

He said: “We train them up to the Bikeability Level 3, and also carry out some fitness training, including a 1km sprint bike ride, followed by a full Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), which is the energetic chest compression needed if someone’s heart stops.

“Each bike carries a huge variety of equipment, from bandages and aspirin to oxygen and an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which is also used to restart people’s hearts.”

Some of the events across the South-east at which St John Ambulance Cycle Responders have already been present include the Milton Keynes Marathon, the She Runs Windsor 10k race and the Blenheim International Horse Trials.

The next major event for them will be the Brighton Marathon on Sunday, April 6.

Mr Leach added: “We are always looking for new volunteers who want to be trained in this role.

“People who have a reasonable level of fitness and are already comfortable on a bike, and who would like to learn how to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

People interested in training to be a Cycle Responder should contact Peter Leach on 07747 766554, or email: peter.leach@sja.org.uk St John Ambulance is the nation’s leading First Aid charity, geared towards providing vital care in situations where First Aid can mean the difference between life and death.

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