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Taupo Launches New Pedal-Powered Ambulance

11 November 2009


Taupo St John ambulance officer and ‘pedalmedic’, Tony More knows a thing or two about bikes. For the last 12 months he’s used his personal mountain bike, kitted out with essential medical equipment, as a first response vehicle at events to get to incidents and medical emergencies where four-wheeled ambulances can’t go.

This off-road ambulance service has proved a vital support at the many sports events held in Taupo throughout the year and has confirmed the need for permanent pedalmedic gear and pedal-power.

Many of Taupo’s events are held in remoter areas with limited vehicle access. St John Operation Team Manager, Graeme Harvey says using a bike gives his staff flexibility and means that experienced medical help can quickly reach and assess patients in that environment.

To help keep the pedalmedic service on track, local Avantiplus Corner Cycle shop owner, Craig Macdonald yesterday donated a new Avanti mountain bike to the amublance team. Mr Macdonald will formally present the bike to the St John ambulence team on the final day of Cyclemania, Taupo’s festival of cycling, Sunday 29 November.

“St John does a great job. Cycling events and cycle tracks will only increase in Taupo and for me it’s a way of giving something to the community –there’s a feel good factor,” says Craig Macdonald.

Similar to an ambulance the bike will be equipped with first response medical equipment such as a defibrillator, oxygen and general medical and first aid items. A specially-made trailer will transport the gear, which with today’s technology weighs around 18kg.

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The bike will get its first official outing on 28 November during in the Dirt and Tarmac relay of the Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. It will joining in the Guinness World Record attempt for the longest parade of bikes on Sunday 29 November.

A full progamme of Cyclemania events is on the website, http:// and events get underway on November 23.

Cyclemania was launched in 2008 and is a joint venture between Bike Taupo, Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, the Taupo District Council and Sport Waikato.


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