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Leeds Lifecycle Launches

09 July 2007

9 July 2007

Don't be surprised if you see a paramedic on a bicycle on the streets in Leeds city centre from now on. An innovative scheme, which was piloted two years ago, is being officially launched in the city this week.

The Lifecycle - a cycling paramedic - will now be a permanent emergency response on Yorkshire Ambulance Service's rotas.

The specially adapted bicycles - of which there are two - carry life-saving equipment in two panniers - on either side of the cycle - including a defibrillator which is used on patients who have suffered cardiac arrest. The quick response has already helped stand down ambulances, with patients being treated at the scene, leaving the ambulance to deal with emergencies elsewhere.

There are eight members of the team who work seven days a week in Leeds City Centre.

The defibrillators on the bikes are being sponsored by LHF. Christine Goodall, Business Services & Administration Co-ordinator, at LHF said:"We are delighted to be supporting the Lifecycle initiative and we are sure that the equipment and paramedics will offer an invaluable service to people across Leeds.

"We have a large number of members across Yorkshire and are thrilled to be supporting such a worthwhile local scheme."

You are invited to send a photographer / reporter to Leeds City Centre outside the Victoria Quarter on Wednesday 11 July at 10am where the Lifecycle, crew and a representative from LHF will be available for photos and interviews.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) operates 60 Ambulance Stations throughout the county, with its main headquarters in Wakefield. It holds a budget of £147 million. YAS was formed on 1 July 2006 when Tees, East and North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Metropolitan and South Yorkshire Ambulance Services merged. The Service serves a population of 5.4 million people and covers varying terrain from coastal areas, large urban areas and inner cities to dales and rural expanses covering an area of 6,000 square miles.
2. Everyone who works on the Lifecycle has to attend a three day International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) course on Emergency Services Cycling. They then have to have a one day orientation ride with a member of the team. The physical demands require that everyone has to maintain a good level of fitness.
3. The lifecycle first began in Yorkshire in 2001 - in York. It has helped stand down 20 per cent of ambulances, leaving them free to attend other emergencies.
4. LHF Healthplan is sponsoring the defibrillators on the Lifecycles. This is roughly £5,000 worth of sponsorship.
5. LHF is a Leeds-based healthcare provider which helps individuals and families in Yorkshire to meet the cost of their basic healthcare needs. By simply paying as little as £3.06 per week, a member can claim up to £95 per year on check ups or fillings at the dentist in addition to a wealth of other treatments including optical, physiotherapy and complementary therapies.  For further information on LHF Healthplan visit www.lhfhealthplan.co.uk or call 0800 056 0366.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department