FIRST aid is now on two wheels as a new team of first aiders have got on their bicycles across Hampshire.

The St John Ambulance cycle responders will be on duty at events such as festivals that cover a large area with dense crowds that make it difficult for vehicles to get to a casualty.

Each cycle responder rides a mountain bike kitted out with enough equipment to make it effectively a mini ambulance.

And it is hoped that seven new cycle responders will be trained this month to join the existing team of ten.

Peter Leach, South East regional operational cycling officer, said: “We already have a small team of cycle responders but there aren’t enough of them to cover the events for which we receive requests.

“We train them up to the bikeability level 3 and also carry out some fitness training including a 1km sprint bike ride followed by a full cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which is the energetic chest compression needed if someone’s heart stops.

“Each bike carries a huge variety of equipment from bandages and aspirin to oxygen and an automatic external defibrillator (AED) which is also used to restart people’s hearts.”

Mr Leach added: “We are always looking for new volunteers who want to be trained in this role.

“People who have a reasonable level of fitness and are already comfortable on a bike, and who would like to learn how to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.”

Anyone interested in training to be a cycle responder should contact Peter Leach on 07747 766554 or email