Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need any special riding qualifications to be a blood biker?
We do require that ALL our volunteer riders have an advanced qualification such as IAM, RoSPA advanced test passes or Police Class 1 licence before joining our charity.
We need all new volunteers to be working towards and joined an advanced qualification and enrolled on an appropriate course such as the IAM’s “Skill for Life”, OR RoSPA in order to ride our operational marked bikes.
We suggest looking at the websites for Cornwall Advanced Motorists, Institute of Advanced Motorists and RoSPA Advanced Riders & Drivers Cornwall
How long will it take to get involved?
That is down to you as your application can be completed via email so once we have it you will be able to start getting involved.
We hold 3-4 Induction weekends a year where you will be invited to attend.
The first day is the background of the charity, what is expected of you, operational procedures & effectiveness, GMP training for the handling of samples, understanding of legislation culminating in your GMP exam.
The objective of day one is to understand the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the charity.
The second day consists of fleet bike familiarisation of our BMW 1200 RTPs, check rides carried out by our IAM or RoSPA observers, buddy runs and familiarisation of your local hospitals
You MUST complete two full days, and be signed off by our ride observers before becoming operational.
What training will I receive?
You will be invited to attend by our membership secretary an induction training weekend ( we hold 3-4 weekends a year)
This is a two day event which will consist of an introduction to the charity, which includes aspects of riding, our fleet bikes, and how we work operationally, along with training on our code of conduct and policies.
All members receive GMP training and exam and must complete both full days before starting with the charity.
What level of commitment am I expected to make as a member of Cornwall Blood Bikes
We like to ask for a level of dedicated commitment can be dedicated to the charity.
Whether that is by completing time as a rider fulfilling operational duties to our NHS partners, co-ordinating or by attending fundraising events up and down the County and representing the charity.
Our coordinators make every effort to allocate jobs as fairly as possible so that all of our riders are given the opportunity to ride.
How many bikes does Cornwall Blood Bikes?
We currently have eleven operational marked fleet bikes which are BMW 1200 RT(p)s
At Cornwall Blood Bikes we have a STRICT no blue light policy and adopt the same policy as the emergency service and when the temperature hits three degrees all operational fleet bikes are called off the road.
We believe that because all our riders are advanced trained, that there is no need to use blue lights, that your skill as advanced riders are sufficient.
At Cornwall Blood Bikes we take our moto of “Riding For Life” is exceptionally seriously and do all we can to promote good road safety, and riding as well as to always promote a positive images of motorcyclists.
During bad weather conditions such as this, heavy rain or high winds, volunteers are able to use their own cars or the CBB operational fleet van which is available for use throughout Cornwall.
What area would I be expected to cover?
We have divided the county into three geographical areas with the aim of tasking jobs to riders close to the hospitals requiring our services, although if necessary you may be asked to go further afield if this is convenient for you.
What area does Cornwall Blood Bikes cover?
We provide cover to all of the hospitals within the geographical area of Cornwall.
We sometimes go as far as Plymouth and further afield by arrangement, handing over to our fellow Blood Bike Groups in the South West.
Can I use my own bike and or car?
We very much like all our operational commitment to be carried out on one of our marked BMW 1200 RTPs, however in certain circumstances such as a bike break down you may be asked to use your own bike rarely.
You must check that your insurance covers you for blood bike activities and your vehicle must be in good order, taxed, have a valid MOT, and full breakdown insurance.
Your own motorcycles must also have somewhere suitable to carry the items requested such as panniers or a top box.
Do Cornwall Blood Bikes just carry blood?
Whole blood products are only a small part of the vital job we do.
We also carry medication, medical notes, pathology samples for testing, medical equipment, donor breast milk and anything else that is needed urgently and that we can transport safely.
On a typical shift what jobs am I likely to be given?
There is no such thing as a typical shift which is what a lot of our members enjoy as every shift is different.
Usually we are busiest between the hours of 17:00 to 19:00 and at weekends and bank holidays where we are operational for 24 hours a day.
Our late night calls are becoming more prolific with the NHS needing our out of hours service.
I don’t ride a motorcycle but I would still like to be involved?
Behind the scenes a lot goes on to keep the charity going so we always have a need for coordinators who are crucial to dispatching our riders on jobs across Cornwall.
You need to have basic IT skills, a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel and Spreadsheets and training is always provided.
So if you would like to get involved we would love to hear from you.
What’s happened to Cornwall FreeWheelers EVS?
Cornwall Blood Bikes is the new name for Cornwall Freewheelers EVS.
We made the decision to change our name as often there was some confusion when talking to people as we were thought to be some kind of cycling club.
The naming does not affect the service we provide but we feel more accurately reflects what we do and who we are, especially as our bikes’ livery displays the word “BLOOD” as do our high visibility jackets.
We are also members of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) so this name provides a more appropriate identification to both our NHS partners and the general public and should lead to a better understanding of who we are without the need for a lengthy explanation.