Dublin first-aid bikes unveiled


Dublin's only unit of first-aid bikes was unveiled by Lord Mayor Andrew Montague today on behalf of the Irish Red Cross.

Irish Red Cross secretary general Donal Forde said the units will function as a back-up to the regular ambulance crews. "The cyclists are fully-equipped first-aid practitioners. They will be used during big street events," he said today.

The two bikes, which will be used by members of the Santry branch, can carry almost the same equipment as an ambulance.

Branch officer Greg Lyons said the bikes would be very useful in and around the city centre. "On St Patrick's Day for example the roads are sealed so an ambulance might have problems where a bike unit can respond a lot quicker."

Claire Doran, who has been with the service for nine years, believes the bikes will make her job easier.

"It'd be quicker to get around a football pitch, so it will give the patient a better chance. And it will be easier than going on foot as we carry quite large bags," she said at the launch.

The lord mayor, a keen cyclist and promoter of the Dublin Bike scheme, praised the unit. "I think this will increase the mobility of the Red Cross, they will have the flexibility and the speed to get into parks where cars can't go," he said.

The bike unit's first outing will be at the Sky Ride on Sunday when over 3,000 cyclists are expected to ride through traffic-free areas of Dublin, according to the mayor.

The bikes, supplied at cost price by Little Sports, are 21-speed hybrids.

Similar units have already been gone into service with the Irish Red Cross in Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Navan.