MEMBERS of the North Devon-based Pheonix Bike Club are among the first riders in the county to have gained the recognised qualifications needed to provide basic life support skills at the scene of an accident. Five club members completed a one-day First B

MEMBERS of the North Devon-based Phoenix Bike Club are among the first riders in the county to have gained the recognised qualifications needed to provide basic life support skills at the scene of an accident.Five club members completed a one-day First Bike on Scene course held in a training room above the King's Arms pub on Bideford Quay.The South Western Ambulance Service-run course has been designed to provide motorcyclists with the knowledge and skills needed to manage the scene of an accident in the vital minutes before the arrival of an ambulance.It covers aspects including the trauma and mechanics of injury; protecting the scene and snatch rescue; spinal management; and removal of a crash helmet."A little knowledge can make a big difference," said Phoenix Bike Club member Bruce Clarke, a trained paramedic based at Bideford Ambulance Station, who presented fellow club members with their certificates."Crash helmet removal is extremely important; the helmet might be restricting an airway but if removed incorrectly, it could paralyse someone with a broken neck."The course is open to anyone - not just motorcyclists. It has only started running in the South West in the last 12 months and members of our club are among the first in Devon - certainly in North Devon - to achieve the certification."Among those receiving their certificates was Mel Jones, of Barnstaple.He said: "The chances of getting knocked off a motorcycle are unfortunately pretty high. "To have some basic knowledge about what to do in the event of an accident could mean the difference between someone living or dying."For information about the course, telephone (01305) 257643, email kim.davis@swast.nhs.uk or visit www.swast.nhs.uk