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First Responders will ‘pedal their business’

3rd December 2012

In a joint initiative between the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) and St John Wales, Community First Responders are piloting a scheme of First Responder Cyclists (FRCs) in the centre of Cardiff in an effort to deal with the influx of shoppers and party-goers who will flock to the city in the coming weeks.

The scheme will see the use of mountain bikes on the city’s streets in December.

The FRCs will cover the city's pedestrian precincts and shopping arcades during the year’s busiest weeks.

In many cases, the trained FRCs will be able to reach patients quickly ensuring that any essential life saving skills can be commenced immediately. As in all call-outs for Community First Responders, an emergency ambulance or rapid response vehicle will also be sent to each incident to ensure that a full clinical assessment of the patient can be completed by a qualified ambulance clinician.

Each of the FRCs will be equipped with a mini defibrillator and a resuscitation kit.

WAS Head of Service for the Cardiff and Vale area Bob Tooby commented: “The main advantage of this scheme of course is that the cyclists will be able to weave their way through traffic and pedestrians and get to a patient’s side quickly even if they're in one of the arcades or in a large store.”

Keith Dunn, Chief Executive of St John Wales, said: “This is another great example of St John working in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service to benefit the wider community. Our volunteers dedicate thousands of hours each year providing vital first aid care in Wales. This new pilot scheme will ensure people in Cardiff receive lifesaving treatment quickly and effectively and we’re really pleased to be involved.”

Each member of the team will carry a range of life-saving equipment. The Responders will be in contact with the ambulance control via their mobile phones, and the scheme will run on a shift basis.

WAS have more than 1000 Community First Responders across the country who are trained to provide an immediate response to patients in their communities and provide basic life support skills where they are required. They are essential to ensure that the chain of survival which is key to ensuring that as many lives as possible are saved in the event of a cardiac arrest is in place.

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