Ride-by saviour on wheels

PCSO Ryan White with the defibrillator for police bikes donated by Pam Bailey from the Adam Appeal
PCSO Ryan White with the defibrillator for police bikes donated by Pam Bailey from the Adam Appeal
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A new life-saving device will be used by police in Blackpool town centre in a first for the resort.

Neighbourhood policing officers have taken delivery of a new defibrillator, which they will take out on patrol.

PCSO Ryan White spends most of his shifts on his bike, which means he is often the first to the scene of an emergency as vehicles can struggle to get through crowds of shoppers.

The extra seconds could save lives as every passing minute reduces a cardiac arrest patients chances of survival by between seven and 10 per cent.

He said: “We do have incidents in the town centre where people are in medical need and we are the ones who are there first – we’re on the front line.

“We have had incidents where a defibrillator is needed. On a bike I can get to something faster than a car can through the town centre.”

The device was supplied by Garstang-based charity the ADAM Appeal.

It supplies defibrillators to community groups and schools as part of its efforts to save lives and raise awareness of cardiac problems.

PCSO White said there a relatively few defibrillators in the town centre and most are in shops, meaning they cannot be used outside normal trading hours.

The charity is training officers to use the defibrillator, which will be taken out on a specially adapted bike.

The bike and waterproof casing for the device – worth around £150 – have been given to police free of charge by The Bike Shop, on Red Bank Road, Bispham.

PCSO White said there have previously been problems getting hold of a defibrillator when one has been needed in the town centre.

This prompted him to look into getting one that police can take on patrol with them.

He added: “I spend around 80 per cent of my shifts on bikes and I cover between 10 and 20 miles a day.

“I tend to find it’s much quicker than getting a car through town.

“I don’t think this has been done around Blackpool yet.”

The ADAM Appoeal was founded in memory of Adam Swanwick, 28, who died suddenly after suffering a heart attack in 2012. The appeal now works to raise awareness of cardiac risk in young people.