How to Becoming a Motorcycle Blood Biker in the UK
The role of a Blood Biker is both demanding and rewarding. It is demanding because you have to get qualified and you can be called upon during your shift at any time to go anywhere with an urgent request. It is also rewarding because what you are doing can save lives. The choice of becoming a motorcycle Blood Biker is growing around the UK, to help do some good for the struggling NHS.
These dedicated volunteers navigate the UK’s roads delivering essential medical items such as blood, medical notes and other urgent materials. The appeal is huge to a vast amount of bikers as most want to give something back to their local community.
To meet the challenges of this role, Blood Bikers require a set of advanced motorcycling skills and an unwavering dedication to the cause.
This article delves into the skills and qualifications needed to becoming a motorcycle Blood Biker.
Riding Skills: The Foundation
The terrain and road conditions that a Blood Biker encounters can vary greatly. If you are located in a large city you might go from one hospital to another within that city delivering essential items. This can be demanding during peak hours and rush hour traffic especially.
This challenge demands adaptability and a diverse set of riding skills. But do not become drawn into the noble cause arena, as this will get most riders into trouble as they navigate demanding road conditions.
Out in the sticks and in rural locations, riders have different challenges. Longer journeys, often in the middle of the night. Blood Bikers have to ride a range of roads and conditions, mastering cornering skills on quiet country roads to confidently navigate to unknown locations.
Sometimes there is a mix of roads in a shift and if urgent medical supplies need to be moved a long way, Blood Bikers work as a team to transport medical supplies around the country from region to region.
Country Road Work
On country roads, the ability to plan and anticipate potential hazards is crucial. This type of road is open and free flowing, so riders must be at a high personal riding standard to be trusted to ride as a Blood Biker. These are typically larger motorcycles with the capacity to carry goods.
Skills such as scanning the road ahead for hazards and dangers, including advanced warning signs of dangers ahead. Assessing the road ahead and the road surface is a key skill for Blood Bikers, the limits of visibility all play a vital role in safely and effectively negotiating rural routes.
Never ride faster than your ability and remember that Blood Bikers are ambassadors to the cause and as a result should show respect and restraint when riding. This demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and as such they are very much in the public eye.
Overtaking and Filtering
Overtaking and filtering through traffic are fundamental skills for a Blood Biker. The livery on the motorcycle can make riders look like police or paramedics. Drivers will try to help by moving over or out of the way but a keen sharp eye is needed to navigate such situations.
Knowing when it is safe and appropriate to overtake or filter is key. Also being able to filter confidently through stationary or slow-moving traffic can save time in the delivery of urgent medical items. But most riders are not trained to ride with, and use blues and twos to get through the traffic quickly.
Even though they may have urgent supplies it does not give them a green light to ride with urgency. This is known as riding with the noble cause, there isn’t anything noble about being involved in an incident because you are in a rush.
A good advanced rider can make their way through traffic in a calm and calculated way. This is why advanced riders continually uplift their skills with further training and development.
Urban environments present a unique set of challenges. The rush hour traffic is normally congested making it awkward to navigate. Drivers are still half asleep and do not observe before the manoeuvre, but tend to follow and copy what the car in front does.
These situations call for heightened skills of vision, planning and awareness. Riders with limited experience find these situations daunting and challenging, whereas a fully qualified and able advanced rider can negotiate any hazard they are presented with.
Other challenges include complex and difficult junctions and roundabouts, not to mention the higher density of road users. This requires exceptional skill from the Blood Biker to ensure their load gets dropped off safely. Becoming a Motorcycle Blood Biker has more challenges and difficulties than people realise.
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Weather and Clothing
The UK’s weather is famously unpredictable. It makes riding a motorcycle more challenging and when combined with doing an important role, there are not many weather conditions that will prevent a Blood Biker doing their duty.
However, there are situations when riding the motorcycle will put more pressure on the emergency services. Blood Bikers must make good decisions when it comes to performing their role and if the weather is too bad to ride safely they must make a judgement call and not continue with the task.
This shows maturity and is the sign of a responsible rider who has everyones welfare at heart. Blood Bikers demonstrate respect for weather conditions and ride accordingly. The speed may be slower in adverse conditions but getting the job done safely is better than trying to get the job done quickly.
Understanding how different weather conditions affect riding is critical. Choosing the correct and appropriate clothing is essential to ensure comfort, protection and safety.
Enhanced Rider Scheme – Going Above and Beyond
Becoming a Motorcycle Blood Biker requires advanced rider qualifications. This is because the organisation only wants good responsible riders who have the correct attitude and the right motivation to carry out the task.
They want safe professional riders who take the responsibility seriously and do not use this role as a badge of honour. This is not a badge collection role and therefore a high level of rider education is required.
Prospective Blood Bikers are expected to hold an IAM or RoSPA Advanced Rider Certificate. These organisations, although charitable and volunteer led like the Blood Biker fraternity, do a great job in helping riders develop their advanced riding skills for riders becoming a Motorcycle Blood Biker. This training is a cheap way to gain a qualification and may take some time to elevate riding skills.
Another route that is much quicker, because you are trained by professional instructors (research and choose with care), is the DVSA’s Enhanced Rider Scheme. The training can suit you, it is generally all day and when you find the right trainer the improvement is remarkable in a short space of time. This is because professional trainers can pinpoint and highlight specific training needs and develop riders quickly.
These qualifications testify to the rider’s skills, awareness, and understanding of safe, defensive riding. Motorcycle Riders Hub has a number of high level police and ex-police trainers who will be more than happy to pass on their high level skills to allow you to fulfil this incredibly satisfying role. Get in touch now for more information
Understanding the Organisation
A fundamental part of being a Blood Biker is understanding the organisation and the processes involved in transporting medical items. Although you are not expected to know everything straight away, you should know what it entails and what are the responsibilities required of you.
This includes knowing how to handle the items safely, understanding the importance of timing and being aware of the confidentiality and professionalism required. There will be times when you need to be discreet and have a level of decorum, so that you protect the patients you are helping.
Being smart, courteous and friendly are just a few of the traits you should have. You should also understand the policies and procedures so that you adhere to them whilst carrying out your duties.
Being punctual and on time is a crucial part of the role and communication to the highest standard is both required and expected. Being professional in your manner and conduct is highly recommended at all times.
Riding to Make a Difference
Becoming a Motorcycle Blood Biker is about more than just riding skills. It’s about dedication, responsibility, and the desire to make a difference. You’ll be working alone and during the night, so this role is for a certain kind of person.
It requires enhanced riding skills, a deep understanding of the road and a commitment to serving the community. You must take the role and responsibility seriously and give your best at all times.
With the right training and attitude, you can join the ranks of these everyday heroes. They are unsung in every way and would not want to be in the limelight at all. They consider the role they play, as just giving something back.