Pedal power for Bristol shoppers

Avon xmas cycle responders

Shoppers in Avon will be able to cope in the Christmas rush knowing they are in the safe hands of St  John Ambulance volunteers should they require first aid.

The Avon Cycle Response Unit will be providing additional medical cover in the lead up to Christmas to shoppers at Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus and Broadmead in order to help shoppers who become unwell.

Treating a range of injuries, including collapses, faints, minor cuts and grazes, the service is being provided in conjunction with Great Western Ambulance Service so that St John Ambulance cyclists can attend 999 calls in the areas that may be congested with traffic.

Having the St John bikes in our major shopping areas is an excellent joint project. We are looking to make maximum use of these resources.

Paul Greatorex
Head of Performance, Great Western Ambulance Service

The facility of using bikes to get to patients is ideal for the Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus and Broadmead area, as St John Ambulance personnel will be able to access patients promptly and in addition to first aid materials, the bikes carry a defibrillator, oxygen, suction and basic splinting equipment, so are well prepared to cope with any emergency.

The Cycle Response Unit was originally set up to provide cover at large events in the local area where getting through crowds of people was becoming increasingly difficult for the emergency services and has been proven to work very effectively in areas that have a high crowd density.

Jeremy Hughes, Commissioner of Operations and Membership for St John Ambulance said: 'I think this is an excellent project demonstrating how St John Ambulance and the local Ambulance Service can work together in order to help members of our community. Our two organisations work extremely well together, and this is another example of great partner working.'

The Cycle Response Unit will be at Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus and Broadmead this weekend (19 and 20 December).

Paul Greatorex, Head of Performance, Great Western Ambulance Service said: 'We are interested in new initiatives to assist in the delivery of patient care, and having the St John bikes in our major shopping areas is an excellent joint project. We are looking to make maximum use of these resources over the next few weekends.'

Anyone wishing to know more about St John Ambulance Cycle Response Unit, or would like to help support the running costs of the unit, please contact Justin Blackett via email Justin.blackett@avon.sja.org.uk.