Measures in place to ensure cyclists’ safety

ORGANISERS of the 29th edition of The Herald VW Cycle Tour are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to the safety of participants on February 1 and 2.

Gardmed private ambulance service will once again do duty on the streets of Port Elizabeth and on the mountain bike trails at Addo, while the trauma unit staff at Life St George’s Hospital will also be on standby to deal with any emergency.

According to race director Julie Briggs, organisers would also be setting up a joint operations centre at both the road and mountain bike events, which would be the first point of contact in case of a crisis.

“Although we are not anticipating any problems, good communication is essential when emergencies arise.”

Briggs said the PE Amateur Radio Society would handle the radio communications and also head the control centre. “Their dedicated team members will be stationed at strategic points along the routes, which enables us to keep in constant communication.

“They’ve been working on the mountain bike side for two years now, so we’re confident they’ll do an excellent job and that our riders are in good hands.”

Briggs said emergency contact details would be printed on all participants’ race numbers so they could contact the joint operations centre should they need to.

“The emergency services personnel are thoroughly briefed beforehand and work hand in hand with Life St George’s. They’ll be in communication should a participant need to be transported to hospital.”

Life St George’s offers a 24-hour level-one emergency unit, with helicopter landing pad, which is equipped to handle any form of medical or surgical emergency.

The hospital’s new cardiac centre will also be on alert, while its trauma-trained nursing staff will man the medical tents at the Addo Polo Club and Hobie Beach race villages.

Gardmed will cover the off-road trails in 4×4 ambulances and on quad bikes, with standard emergency vehicles on the streets of Port Elizabeth.

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