The Road Safety Team at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service have been delivering Biker Down workshops across Devon and Somerset since 2015.
During this time 501 Motorcyclists have attended our workshops. These workshops are split into 3 sessions, comprising of road traffic collision scene management, first aid and the science of being seen. The sessions are designed with Bikers in mind and are tailored to deliver vital information and life saving skills in what to do at the scene of any road traffic collision. The last session also helps to explain how motorcyclists can be more visible on the roads and explains that there is a science behind why people may look but don’t always see a motorcyclist. The team provides some insight into simple skills whilst riding to decrease risk and prevent collisions.
The workshops are a national initiative started by Kent Fire and Rescue Service. This scheme has been adopted by many Fire Services across the country including Scotland and Wales.
In 2016 there were 54 fatal road traffic collisions in Devon and Somerset with another 654 casualties sustaining serious injuries. 169 of those killed or sustaining life changing injuries from these collisions were motorcyclists (Motorcyclists only make up about 1% of road users)
Our workshops provide vital information to motorcyclists in how to manage a collision scene along with the vital information the emergency services need to dispatch resources to any incident. It provides first aid skills in catastrophic bleeding, CPR and helmet removal. The workshops last 3 hours and are free to the motorcyclists that attend. They are all held at local Community Fire Stations across our service area and each attendee receives a free first aid kit especially designed for motorcyclists (the workshops are co-funded and delivered in Partnership by our partner agencies from Devon County Council and Somerset County Council road safety teams).
SM Laura Pratt said “these workshops are well attended, and the feedback to date has been really positive. It provides practical skills and knowledge and enables the Fire Service to help reduce collision risk and injury to this high risk group, Whilst enabling them to provide immediate care to anyone in our communities injured through any RTC. The workshop also helps to empower members of the public to intervene and provide life saving skills before the arrival of the emergency services, and gives them key understanding in the information required to keep themselves and others safe at any collision.”
Our workshops are run throughout the year and start again next year in the spring. The dates are advertised on our Biker Down South West Facebook page and motorcyclists can applied for free place via a link on these pages.