‘Life-saving’ cycle paramedics back on the road with new recruits on board

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: Nor

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: Norwich Police - Credit: Archant

Lifesaving cycling paramedics are back in Norwich city centre and two other locations to increase fast response to those in need.

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEA

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEAST - Credit: Archant

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) cycle response unit has returned to its post after the pandemic.

New recruits are currently undergoing a three day training course and will work as part of the unit’s three teams in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

The team is equipped to respond in areas which may be harder to access by rapid response car or ambulance due to being able to cycle down alleyways, pedestrianised areas and one way streets.

Lydia Lawrence, lead for the Norfolk cycle response unit, said: “It’s really exciting to get it back up and running.

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEA

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEAST - Credit: Archant

“It works brilliantly, I’m so passionate about how it gets to patients so quickly. It’s so well received and it’s part of the community.

“I have seen it work where we get to the cardiac arrest patient and they can have a good outcome because we are there that quickly.”

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Each cycling paramedic carries around 45 to 50kg of equipment, including defibrillator, medication, an observation monitor and delivery kit to lead or assist ambulance teams in an incident.

The team is on duty seven days a week between 8am and 6pm in the city centre at a base at The Forum.

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEA

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEAST - Credit: Archant

During summer, the unit also looks to operate in popular summer spots such as Hunstanton and Cromer.

Miss Lawrence said: “When people ring 999 they are in need, it’s an individual emergency and they want someone to help, we can get to them quickly and they are instantly relieved.

“Many are still on the phone to our control centre and they are surprised to see us so quickly within minutes. It is absolutely huge. It’s a life saving-resource.”

This week, 10 recruits have been taking the course teaching them how to operate the bike safely in public areas

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEA

Recruits for EEAST's cycle response unit taking part in a public safety cycling course. Picture: EEAST - Credit: Archant

Recruit Juliette Watkinson, has worked with the ambulance trust for 16 years wanted to combine her knowledge with her love of cycling.

Mrs Watkinson, whose husband Kevin is already on the team said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to do my job in a different way.