Pedal power improves emergency response – St John launches new cycle unit

St John has launched a new cycle response unit to allow first aid volunteers to respond to incidents during public events across the Island, with the support of G4S Channel Islands.

The response unit, the first of its kind on the Channel Islands, comprising four bicycles and six trained volunteers, enables first aiders and paramedics on duty at public events and shows across Guernsey – including the Harbour Carnival, Liberation Day and Rocquaine Regatta – to easily cover large areas independently and reach patients more quickly, starting life-saving treatment whilst an ambulance is on its way. Bicycle units are also deployed in high traffic congestion areas to ensure rapid response times.

G4S Channel Islands has stepped in to fund the new unit; customised mountain bikes and equipment including the latest defibrillators, oxygen, medical dressings and specialist clothing. Six St John volunteers are trained and have received cycling tuition from Guernsey Police.

Nikki Harrison, St John Operations Manager, believes the new capability will assist the service in providing the best first aid care for the community.

‘The use of cycle responders in the UK has seen an improvement in survival rates from cardiac arrests, as the units can reach the scene of an incident very quickly and deliver lifesaving care to patients. We believe this kind of service is ideal for Guernsey and are grateful to G4S for their support, as the units will now become a common sight at events and shows, particularly during the busy summer months.’

Deanne Le Gresley, G4S Channel Islands Managing Director, said, ‘With our experience of safety management at events across the islands, we are proud to work with St John as they continue to ensure safety in the community. This unit is a fantastic resource for the Island and a thoroughly worthwhile investment.’

The units were trialed at a few events last year and will be introduced for the Liberation Day commemorations on 9 May.