RICHMOND, Va., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Bon Secours Virginia Health System, in partnership with Motorcycle Virginia, Inc., today launched a new program designed to save the lives of injured motorcyclists. The program provides free identification data cards that will help first responders provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to riders involved in accidents.
The data cards, officially known as Rider Alert cards (www.RiderAlert.org), are placed inside riders' helmets and contain vital, life-saving information, emergency contact and any important medical history. When first responders arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident, a one-inch, round sticker on the outside of the helmet will indicate that the biker has the Rider Alert card. The sticker also warns bystanders not to remove the helmet, which could prevent further injury.
In developing the Rider Alert card, RAA engaged both bikers and first responders, to determine the most effective way to provide rider emergency contact and medical information.
"Motorcycle accidents and fatalities are on the rise in Virginia," said Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority. "This card is born out of experience – it has been designed by paramedics who have been on both sides of an accident as the injured rider or as medical help. Accessing this basic information after a motorcycle accident can sometimes be impossible. This small tool could mean the difference between life and death."
"We are so pleased to be involved with such an innovative program," said Toni Ardabell, CEO Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital." "This truly is a program that can provide critical information, allowing first responders to give injured cyclists the best possible onsite care before transporting them to our emergency departments."
RAA based the idea of the Rider Alert cards on a program called CRASH Card, which was developed in the United Kingdom two years ago by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club. Since its creation, more than 325,000 CRASH Cards have been distributed to riders in Europe.
RAA and Motorcycle Virginia began discussing how to bring a similar program to Virginia last year. They teamed up with several organizations, including Bon Secours Virginia Health System, which offered its support, and has helped the project advance through the concept and design stages to its launch. The Rider Alert card program is the first of its kind in the United States.
"Motorcycle Virginia has strong relationships throughout the state with organizations that are excited about this program and know the safety benefits it will have for riders," said Steve Witmer, corporate director of Motorcycle VA. "There are more than 100,000 registered motorcycle riders in Virginia, and we will use our resources to get the Rider Alert card into as many of their hands as possible."
About Bon Secours Virginia
Bon Secours Virginia Health System, the fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, is comprised of Bon Secours Richmond Health System and Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System. Visit bonsecours.com.
SOURCE Bon Secours Virginia Health System