Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service

Richard Reeves, Fund Raising Manager for the Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service (EVS), was the guest speaker at Wellington Rotary Club’s lunchtime meeting at the Beambridge Inn on Monday.

Richard Reeves, Fund Raising Manager for the Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service (EVS), was the guest speaker at Wellington Rotary Club’s lunchtime meeting at the Beambridge Inn on Monday.

Founded in 1990, Freewheelers EVS is a registered charity that provides a free out-of-hours motorcycle courier service to hospitals in an area covering Somerset, Bristol, Bath, West Wiltshire, and South Gloucestershire. Freewheelers EVS is one of a number of groups that cover almost the entire country and works closely with neighbouring groups.

Many will have seen the distinctive BMW R1200RT ‘Blood Bikes’ each equipped with high-visibility markings, blue lights and sirens which enable riders making deliveries classified as an emergency to make safe progress through congested traffic more effectively than any alternatives. 

Richard explained that the service to the NHS is provided free of charge and is funded entirely by public donation and sponsorship. The motorcycle couriers transport blood, pathology and microbiology specimens, patient notes, X-rays, breast milk, and other medical supplies. In 2015, the service made 3,895 deliveries, riding more than 146,000 miles. If the service did not exist hospitals would be forced to use taxis or expensive commercial couriers.

Not many people realise that Freewheelers EVS is run entirely by volunteers. All riders hold an advanced motorcycling qualification, such as the advanced riding test by RoSPA, or IAM. There is also an unpaid team of volunteer fund raisers and telephone co-ordinators.

For more information about the work of Freewheelers EVS visit www.freewheelers.co.uk.

 

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