1. ITV Report

The motorbike medics on a life-saving mission

Credit: ITV West Country

Emergency services across our region are looking at ways to get to accidents on motorways and major roads more quickly.

A group of paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service have been specially trained on motorbikes - so they can be more mobile than a normal ambulance or car.

It is often difficult for ambulances to get to an emergency when there is heavy traffic but a motorcycle can weave in and out of the queues.

It can be quicker for a motorcyclist to get to the scene of an emergency. Credit: ITV West Country

Conventional ambulances, they're big vehicles. They need to get down the hard shoulder to get to an incident. Our colleagues on the motorcycles are a lot more responsive to the weight of traffic, can get to us quicker - can give us that decision-making vital support a lot more efficiently.

– Sgt Jim Whatley, Tri-Force Roads Policing Unit

The police have teamed up with South Western Ambulance Service's motorcycle paramedics - to get to incidents on motorways quickly.

Scott King is one of four, who ride these mini ambulances across the region.

The bikes have a scaled-down version of the kit carried by rapid response cars. Credit: ITV West Country

We've got everything you'd expect from a rapid response car - just a smaller version to fit within the tight boxes that we've got. We've got drugs, oxygen, pain relief and anything to stop any serious bleeding.

– Scott King, Motorcycle Response Officer
Credit: ITV West Country

The specialist unit, a team of four paramedics, all with advanced motorcycle response training, base themselves throughout the region at strategic points on the major roads and motorways and can deploy at a moment’s notice, particularly at peak and busy times.

They can also mean an end to long road closures as they can immediately assess the nature of the incident.

When we triage the scene it could result in the road being reopened immediately if the incident is not critical. We will be in a position to discharge people at the roadside or treat patients, who are not seriously injured, in a nearby safe place allowing the police or Highways to reopen the road. This will mean other road users won’t experience the frustration of a lengthy road closure where it can be avoided.

If the incident is more serious, then we are there and can apply the same level of emergency care to patients as a regular paramedic, and deal with the issue until further crews arrive.

– Scott King
Credit: ITV West Country