independent

Monday 23 October 2017

Blood Bikes at family fun day

Bloodbikes members Maura Gogan Ayres Secretary, Peter Duffy Chairperson and Director, Karen O'Neill Volunteer and John O'Neill PRO at the Duleek GFC family fun day. Photo:Colin Bell/pressphotos.ie
Bloodbikes members Maura Gogan Ayres Secretary, Peter Duffy Chairperson and Director, Karen O'Neill Volunteer and John O'Neill PRO at the Duleek GFC family fun day. Photo:Colin Bell/pressphotos.ie

Fiona Magennis

The Cuchulainn Blood Bikes were at the recent fun day in Duleek to raise awareness of the life saving service they provide.

Blood Bikes are a Voluntary Emergency Medical Transport service who deliver a Specialist Medical Logistical Service to the HSE Hospitals primarily but not exclusively in the Leinster Region 365 days a year.

Originally established in 2013, the Cuchulainn group is relatively new, set up on April 1st last year by Derek Duffy from Castleblayney.

The group serves the region of Meath, Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and Armagh.

The service operates all year round regardless of adverse weather conditions by utilising a range of specialist vehicles; from their Emergency Response Motorcycles & 4×4 Rapid Response vehicles support for a true all weather capability.

The visit to the fun day proved to be a huge success with a number of families showing their interest in and support for the Blood Bikes service.

'It was a brilliant day,' said John O'Neill, the PRO for Cuchulainn Blood Bikes who lives in Duleek.

'IT was great to be out at a local event and chatting to people from the community. It's really about raising awareness for us. We're relatively new in this area, we only got our charity number a couple of months ago, so we want to let people know what we do and the ethos behind the service.'

He said at present, they are doing a lot of runs from Cavan to Dublin.

'The blood bikes originally started off in England and there are a number of other groups in Ireland too,' explained John.

'We basically serve Monaghan, Cavan, Meath Louth and Armagh. So we would work with other blood bike groups and then on some locations it's just ourselves it's an out of hours service basically, we deliver from 7pm to 7am to all the local hospitals.

'The idea is to get the blood samples from one hospital to another hospital as quickly as possible or x-rays or whatever we may be bringing,' explained John.

'Obviously motorbikes are quicker than cars going through traffic, we wouldn't be delayed too much. It has been very successful so far. We're only a very young group, 16-17 months old, and even with ourselves it's starting to prove successful and the service we provide is invaluable. There's a group in Dublin and they have done 10,000 transfers.'

John said he himself got involved because he has a lifelong passion for motorbikes and was looking around the different groups that were established here in Ireland.

'This group was setting up and it was local to me and they were looking for people in this area so that's why I joined,' he explained.

'At the moment we are looking for more volunteers, more riders to join us. We're all trained in CPR and you have to be a certain standard on the motorbike.

'Before they take any blood samples anywhere they would have to be vetted they'd have to have the ROSPA as well. It's a cert for advanced motorcylce riding.

'We're not going to put anybody on one of thsee bikes but we will train you up to that level. If someone has the initiative then certainly the training will be there for them.'

The group will hold their next assessment day for new members on September 17th in The Hunterstown Inn in Ardee.

'People who are interested in attending the day can contact us via the Facebook page or the telephone number on the page,' said John.

Drogheda Independent

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