Fifteen years of saving lives on two wheels

Monday, 07 September, 2015




Cyclists with the training and equipment to save hundreds of lives every year are being celebrated in the latest campaign by the region’s ambulance service.

With a top speed of around 25mph and an average of 15 miles cycled a day, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s (EEAST) cycle response units (CRU) play an important role in the region.
And to mark the visit of more than 100 top class cyclists to the region for the Tour of Britain, the Trust is highlighting the life-saving work of its cycling responders for a CRU takeover week (7th - 13th September).
Fifteen years ago, Norwich became the first place in the East to welcome pedalling paramedics. Paramedics on two wheels have helped thousands of patients since 2000, and EEAST has active CRUs in place in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.
In 2014/15, cycling paramedics attended 870 emergencies. They carry all the kit an ambulance has – in smaller form – such as a defibrillator, ECG machine, and oxygen.
Pedalling paramedics, who are kitted out with a siren and blue lights, have the benefit of being able to get to emergencies in busy town and city centres quicker than an ambulance or response car. The Trust’s CRUs also help reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint and provide a high-profile presence in urban areas. Minor emergencies can often be dealt with by the CRU, leaving ambulances free to be dispatched elsewhere to other emergency calls.
Lydia Lawrence, who has worked on the cycle response unit in Norwich for four years, said the most common jobs were to patients with breathing difficulties, chest pain, or people who had collapsed or had a fall.
“I love the fact that I can get everywhere so quickly and so well received by everyone. It is really well received by all walks of life and people love to see cycle responders in the city,” she said.
For more information and news on the CRU, follow @EastEnglandAmb #CRUtakeover
To view a new video focusing on the work of the Trust’s cycle responders, visit

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