First Responders to get in the saddle and save lives in Lincolnshire

Carl Belcher, Steven Pratten, Peter Merrick, Mary-Jane Booth, Steven Price, Paul Claxton , Matt Corrigan, Nikki Silver and Daniel Skarratts.
Carl Belcher, Steven Pratten, Peter Merrick, Mary-Jane Booth, Steven Price, Paul Claxton , Matt Corrigan, Nikki Silver and Daniel Skarratts.

An agile campaign has been launched in Lincoln city centre this week (July 20), which sees Lincolnshire Integrated Volunteer Emergency Service (LIVES) volunteers swapping their cars for bicycles.

Over the course of the next seven weeks, LIVES will be trialling its cycle initiative from a base at Waterside Shopping Centre, where trained First Responders will be responding to medical emergencies on a push bike in the city centre.

The cycle response unit is the brainchild of LIVES First Responder and medical student at Newcastle University, Steven Price.

Steven noticed that it was difficult for emergency services to navigate the city centre, due to its cobbled streets and number of pedestrians, and suggested a bike as a solution to attend emergencies in urban areas.

Nikki Silver, chief executive at LIVES, said: “We love to hear our First Responders thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve our service, so when Steven mentioned push bikes we were really interested in what he had to say.

“Sadly, illness and injury can occur to anyone at any time, in any place and busy shopping areas such as a High Street are not exempt. Through using bikes instead of cars in the city centre we hope to help more people in medical emergencies and reduce our average response time from six minutes to just three.

“EMAS does a great job in getting to emergency calls in the centre of Lincoln but data shows that there are areas that could be accessed more efficiently by a bicycle. This is where our first responders can make a real difference with the help of our new initiative.”

The seven week trial has been sponsored by local businesses, all of which recognised the need for agile medical support in Lincoln’s city centre. The four sponsors are: Imp Sport, Lincoln BIG, Physio Control, and Waterside Shopping Centre.

Mary-Jane Booth, marketing coordinator at Waterside Shopping Centre, said: “We’re really looking forward to partnering with LIVES for their cycle trial. We want to ensure that not only our shoppers have access to quick medical support if needed, but also anyone living, working or simply strolling around the city centre.

“We hope the LIVES cycle trial is a success and that the responders stationed at Waterside are able to get to patients much quicker so more lives are saved.”

LIVES is hoping to roll out the cycle response unit permanently, with focus on busy periods such as the summer months, Christmas and bank holidays.

“The aim of the initiative is to provide a vital resource for Lincoln city centre, as the city has a growing population of 94,600 and is a popular tourist destination.

Nikki added: “We would not be able to roll out the cycle unit without the support of our amazing sponsors, who have given us the tools to make the trial possible. It is fantastic that they have recognised the importance of this scheme, which will save the lives of everyday people in the city.”

• To find out more about LIVES, visit www.lives.org.uk and follow the charity on Twitter: @liveshq.