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What's it like to be a...cycle responder?

It's National Volunteers' Week! Today, we talk to Tom Daly about what it's like to be a cycle responder.

St John Ambulance cycle respondersWhat do cycle responders do?

We use treatment centres to provide first aid at large events. Cycle responders are treatment centres that can ride straight to the patient. As a mobile resource, we can quickly pass through crowds and obstacles to reach those that need our help.

What motivated you to become a cycle responder?

Cycling has been a passion of mine from a young age, so naturally I jumped at the chance to join the Cycle Response Unit (CRU) when the opportunity arose. I have been lucky enough to hold many different roles in St John Ambulance, but I can honestly say that joining the CRU was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

What kind of kit do cycle responders carry?

In the East of England, where I am based, we have a fleet of 21 fully kitted, purpose built bicycles shared among 60 cycle responders (and counting!). Our panniers carry much more than you’d think too, with almost everything you’d find in an ambulance at our disposal. Thankfully, we do have specialist lightweight and smaller versions of gas cylinders and defibrillators – full size ones might get very tiring to lug around!

What's your advice to members of the public?

If you see a cycle responder at an event, don’t be afraid to say hello – we’re very friendly and don’t bite. The only advice I’d give is not to step out right in front of the blur of yellow and green hurtling past - we wouldn’t want you to get hurt!

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