Guernsey Press

Electric bike proves a boon to Sark emergency response

AN ELECTRIC bike is improving the efficiency of Sark’s Emergency Response Team, who previously travelled to incidents on bicycles, or tractors when possible.

Members of the Emergency Response Team pictured with their electric bike, the island’s doctor and the Sark Lawnmower Race organisers, who donated money towards its cost.

The bike is aiding the transportation of heavy medical equipment and came after a donation from Sark Lawnmower Race organisers Karl Rang and Glenn Williams.

‘It’s a real asset,’ said response team member Sam La Trobe-Bateman.

‘This bike enables us to carry all the necessary kit with ease to assist the doctor in all emergency situations. Lugging everything around on bikes or tractors was quite hard work.’

Just minutes after the official presentation of the bike, an emergency call came through and the bike was put to the test.

‘We were on the way home so the response time was about 30 seconds,’ Mr La Trobe-Bateman said.

‘We are incredibly grateful to the Sark Lawnmower Race organisers for this fantastic contribution.’

The responders are all volunteers and the team has been in action for about a year.

Community first responder Fletcher Guille said emergency calls were transferred from the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre in Guernsey to the team member on call, who would have the kit with them, although any of the responders could attend nearby incidents.

‘Every week someone is on call, but everyone gets sent the message,’ he added.

‘I think the bike is really helpful for everyone because all the kit can get really heavy.’

He estimated the kit to weigh around 25kg, which meant that in the past people had arrived at incidents tired and flustered from the journey there.

Mr La Trobe-Bateman said the number of emergency call-outs in Sark varied.

‘Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes it’s quiet. On average there are three or four calls a month but it varies.’

The bike would be helpful in the summer months, he added. ‘It’s going into a busy season with tourists coming.’

Mr Guille added: ‘In summer it can be a couple of call-outs a week, but in winter it is more locals.

‘It’s maybe one or two a week and other days we might get four in a day – it’s totally random.’

The electric bike was customised by N.E. Signs and Graphics after being purchased from Adventure Cycles in Guernsey.