04/19/2011

Va. providers offer motorcyclists 'Rider Alert Cards'


Travel & Leisure Close-Up

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Ambulance Authority and Bon Secours Virginia Health System, in partnership with Motorcycle Virginia, have launched a new program designed to save the lives of injured motorcyclists.

According to officials, the program provides free identification data cards that will help first responders provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to riders involved in accidents.

The data cards, officially known as Rider Alert cards are placed inside riders' helmets and contain vital, life-saving information, emergency contact and any medical history. When first responders arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident, a one-inch, round sticker on the outside of the helmet will indicate that the biker has the Rider Alert card. The sticker also warns bystanders not to remove the helmet, which could prevent further injury.

In developing the Rider Alert card, Richmond Ambulance Authority engaged both bikers and first responders, to determine the most effective way to provide rider emergency contact and medical information.

"Motorcycle accidents and fatalities are on the rise in Virginia," said Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority. "This card is born out of experience it has been designed by paramedics who have been on both sides of an accident as the injured rider or as medical help. Accessing this basic information after a motorcycle accident can sometimes be impossible. This small tool could mean the difference between life and death."

Richmond Ambulance Authority based the idea of the Rider Alert cards on a program called Crash Card, which was developed in the United Kingdom two years ago by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club. Since its creation, more than 325,000 Crash Cards have been distributed to riders in Europe.

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