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Cycle Response Unit Launched in Harrogate Town Centre

05 May 2011

As part of a pilot scheme, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has introduced a life-saving cycle response unit into Harrogate town centre following the success of other such schemes in Yorkshire.

The four-month trial will see ambulance staff responding to 999 calls in and around the town centre using a specially adapted bicycle which carries life-saving equipment in two panniers. 

Cycle response units can navigate through pedestrianised town and city centre locations quickly and safely and, because they are already based within the area, are often just two or three minutes away from the patient.

Pictured with cycling Paramedic Rob Harrison, A&E Locality Manager Mark Inman (on the right) introduced the first Yorkshire cycling paramedic scheme the city of York and was instrumental in the success of the initiative which has just entered its tenth year of operation.

He said: “In other cities across Yorkshire, such as York, cycle response units continue to prove that they can get to patients much more quickly in built-up or traffic-restricted areas.

“The quick response means staff can make an immediate assessment of the patient and start initial treatment. Often they can tackle many minor medical emergencies at the scene leaving ambulances to deal with emergencies elsewhere.

“Should the four-month trial in Harrogate continue to prove beneficial to patients in the town, we will look to make the cycle response unit a permanent resource.”

The Harrogate Cycle Response Unit will be operational seven days a week during daylight hours in the town centre of Harrogate.

Ambulance staff working on the cycle response unit must attend a three day Public Safety Cyclists (PSC) 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.

The Trust operates permanent cycle response units in York, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull and is looking to pilot a similar scheme in Scarborough over the summer months.   

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department