Have you ever imagined that an adventurous motorbike ride could potentially save a life? Well, for the volunteers at Blood Bikes Australia, this philanthropic twist on their passion for biking is a daily reality.
The founder of Blood Bikes Australia, Peter Davis, who first got into motorcycles when he was 13, has merged his love for biking with a noble cause, essentially creating an environment where every ride matters.
Blood Bikes Australia is a volunteer organisation modelled on a similar concept that started in the UK almost 45 years ago. It’s a group dedicated to transporting medical supplies, from samples for pathological tests to medications, wherever they are needed. Interestingly enough, a recent research revelation has shown that the concept of medical transport by motorcycle is not new to Australia. During the 1919 Spanish Flu, motorcycles with sidecars were used to transport medical supplies, blankets, and even doctors and nurses to where they were needed the most.
Davis believes that this model is quite appealing to motorcyclists. The routine check of mirrors, the casual observation of fellow riders, and the adrenaline rush when on a bike, are combined here with a more profound and noble cause. Not only does this model give bikers an excuse to ride, but it also allows them to do so while making a significant contribution to society.
The organisation’s operational model is rather unique. It doesn’t carry the bureaucratic weight of a committee or a bank account. Instead, it works as a ‘volunteer franchise’, with stringent rules and requirements which include a code of conduct, licensing, and insurance. Furthermore, every rider must have a nationally recognised blood transport certificate.
Blood Bikes Australia operates through an app, which displays all the available rides within a 200km radius from every individual volunteer. The volunteers can have a look, gather information, and claim the rides whenever they want to, effectively allowing every volunteer to control their availability.
In an emergency situation, healthcare providers can also use an app that shows the location of available ‘blood bikers’ real-time. This strategic positioning of motorbikes as a rapid and efficient mode of transport for medical emergencies promptly fulfils the critical time-dependent needs of the healthcare sector.
Nothing testifies to the importance of their work better than the real-life situations they’ve been part of. A recent incidence in Mildura Hospital, Victoria, stands as a testament to the significant role Blood Bikes Australia plays. The hospital had run out of antivenin and, with the delivery facilitated by a volunteer blood biker, a three-year-old kid was saved from a potentially fatal snakebite.
For those in Australia looking to experience the thrill of riding while also contributing to saving lives, becoming a blood bike Australian volunteer could be a fantastic opportunity. By working towards reaching every medical institution across Australia, they aim to ensure that no matter where you are, you could get access to a blood biker if you need it.