Volunteer riders at Blood Bikes Australia are offering to deliver to healthcare organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Founder Peter Davis established the Australian arm of Blood Bikes in Brisbane in September 2019 delivering blood supplies to Mater hospitals in the city.
Earlier this month we published his called for more volunteers to extend their services to other states and help in the fight against coronavirus.
His plan is to deliver medical equipment, personal protection equipment, gloves, masks, medicine, ventilators and other urgent necessities to hospitals, nursing homes and hospices.
Peter says he was inundated with inquires around the country and now has three back-up volunteer riders in Brisbane and more in other capital and regional cities.
“Our main challenge now is getting healthcare organisations, laboratories and pathology companies to realise the advantages in adding Blood Bikes Australia volunteers as part of their delivery and transport alternatives,” he says.
“If you are a decision-maker in one of these organisations, then contact Blood Bikes Australia. We have volunteers in cities and regional Australia ready to help.
“The key point is that Blood Bikes Australia does not aim to be a primary pathology transport service provider but we aim to offer an alternative to getting an expensive taxi when all usual methods are exhausted.”
Peter took his Brisbane volunteers on an orientation ride last week to show them where to deliver blood and medical supplies.
Jay Mair of Walloon who rides a Suzuki C50 says she wanted to “do something that is important and a good excuse to get on the bike”.
The Scouts volunteer has been riding since she was 17.
Peter Cabot on a BMW R 1200 GS has good motivation to volunteer.
“My sister is an ER doctor and I have another sister who is a pharmacist in a hospital,” he says. “I wanted to help and make a difference.”
Riding instructor Phillip Bates on a BMW R 1200 RT is used to volunteering as he was involved in the original Blood Bikes in the UK.
Blood delivered by Blood Bikes Australia has been used in surgery as well as transfusions for cancer patients.
Peter says he has started discussing the possibility of extending the service to delivering breast milk, medicines and other medical products.
“Recent discussions with the Mater are now looking into ways in which Blood Bikes Australia can help especially in these difficult times,” he says.
“Blood Bikes Australia is entirely voluntary. We volunteer our time, fuel and motorcycles.
“We are not an emergency service and abide by all the road rules and speed limits. We are not police or ambulance ‘wannabes’.
“We are just motorcycle enthusiasts who want to make our passion for riding available to do some good in the community.”
As an essential medical service, urgent deliveries would also be exempt from any travel restrictions during the current pandemic.
Peter says he now has volunteers in Central Queensland, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Beenleigh, Gold Coast, Gosford, Newcastle, Sydney, Ballarat, Geelong, Werribee, Launceston, Adelaide and Perth.
“More volunteers would be always welcome,” says Peter.
“People are ready to volunteer, but the difficult part can be getting healthcare organisations, hospitals and blood banks to appreciate and understand how useful Bloodbikes can be.
“That’s what we need more than anything.”