Bikers in Hastings and Rother are being urged to learn how to help their fellow riders in the event of an emergency.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service works alongside Sussex Police to deliver Biker Down - a free three hour workshop aiming to give the rider or pillion the confidence to deal with an incident if they came across one before the emergency services arrive.
According to official figures, between January and July 2015, there were 53 Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) in East Sussex involving powered two wheelers where someone was killed or seriously injured.
Andy Reynold, director of prevention and protection at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “We want our biker community to enjoy riding safely on our roads and we work hard to help bikers and other road users understand the risks out there.
“We also know that bikers are particularly vulnerable to serious injury if they are involved in an RTC.
“Knowing how to help a fellow biker when someone has come off their bike could make all the difference to that person and ultimately save their life.”
Biker Down was started by the Kent Fire and Rescue Service Firebike Team in 2010.
Firefighter Clive York, based at Battle Fire Station, co-ordinates the Biker Down workshops and was responsible for bringing the initiative to East Sussex.
He said: “It is hugely rewarding to see how many people have already given up their time to learn more about keeping safe on the roads.
“Since July 2014, we’ve had more than 165 people come through the doors and we have many more booked onto future workshops.
“Many of them have found it helpful and it’s good to know that they are going away more prepared to deal with an emergency.”
There are three elements to the Biker Down workshops.
Scene management helps a rider or a witness cope at the scene immediately after the event, covering how to assess the risks they face and keep themselves, other road users and the casualty safe.
It also explains their responsibilities to themselves and the casualty.
First Aid instruction covers CPR, the treatment of likely traumas and helmet removal techniques.
The Science Behind Being Seen and The SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn’t see you incident) covers a range of topics including why car drivers don’t see bikers and what bikers can do to be seen.
The workshops take place once a month, although 2015 events are now fully booked.
To find out more contact Firebike@esfrs.org or visit www.facebook.com/BikerDownSussex
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