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Hull Cycle Response Unit Here to Stay

01 April 2010

The cycle response unit in Hull City Centre is now a permanent resource following the success of the recent pilot scheme.

Cycle response units can navigate through traffic-restricted city centre locations quickly and safely and, because they are already based in the city centre, are often just two or three minutes away from the patient.

Using a specially adapted bicycle, with blue lights and a siren, ambulance staff carry life-saving equipment stored in two panniers on each side of the bike.

Jack Ewing, Assistant Director for Operations in Hull and the East Riding at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS), said: “The cycle response unit in Hull has already proved beneficial to hundreds of patients and the success of the pilot means resource will now be a permanent emergency response in the city centre. 

“Since the closure of the ambulance station on Osborne Street in January 2010, the cycle response unit has been valuable in getting to patients in traffic-restricted city centre locations quickly and safely.

“Following a 999 call the cycle response unit can be at the scene very quickly and can make an immediate assessment of the patient and start initial treatment prior to the arrival of an ambulance.

“The quick response has already helped stand down many double-manned ambulances as the cycle response unit can tackle many minor medical emergencies at the scene, leaving ambulances to deal with emergencies elsewhere.”

The unit will be operational seven days a week during daylight hours in the city centre of Hull.

Ambulance staff working on the cycle response unit must 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.

YAS operates permanent schemes in York and Leeds and a pilot scheme is also currently running in Sheffield.

The pilot in Hull is funded by the YAS Charitable Fund which helps to support the work of the Trust by backing service developments such as cycle response unit initiatives. The YAS Charitable Fund receives donations and legacies from grateful patients and their families as well as money raised through charity events and challenges.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department