Electric bike a ‘godsend’ for carnival first aiders

Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce chairman Andrew Munden (left) presenting a £500 cheque to c

Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce chairman Andrew Munden (left) presenting a £500 cheque to carnival chairman Stuart McClean. The cash will go towards maintaining an electric bike used by the carnival's first aid team.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

An electric bicycle bought to help Sheringham Carnival Association's 12-strong first aid team reach accidents more quickly is set to stay on the road, thanks to a £500 donation from the town's chamber of trade.

The cash, which is the proceeds of the sale of a container previously used to store grass-cutting equipment and the town's Christmas lights, will go towards maintaining a £1250 bike supplied in May of last year at a £500 discount by Cromer trader David Wood, of Electrifying Cycles.

The bike, which has already been used more than 20 times, can reach a top speed of 15.5 mph, has panniers and hydraulic brakes, and is kitted out with equipment including bandages, blankets and an onboard defibrillator.

Sheringham Carnival first aid lead Ben Sewell said it had been a 'godsend' for his team, who not only attend carnival-run events, but also provide first aid cover for events run by other organisations, including the annual Potty Morris Festival, the New Year's Day dip and the North Norfolk Railway's 1940s weekend.

'With the bike, we can be anywhere in the town in the blink of an eye,' Mr Sewell explained. 'It takes us less than two minutes to reach someone so it is a very valuable piece of equipment as, particularly with heart attacks, the first few minutes are the most important and the more we can do before people are taken to hospital, the better.'

Medical emergencies Mr Sewell has attended on the bike have so far included a head injury sustained by a visitor to February's Viking Festival who slipped on the promenade, a visitor suffering burns and a man complaining of chest pains during last year's carnival procession.

'Because every event we have is getting bigger each year and more and more people are attending, the need is greater than ever,' Mr Sewell said.

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Carnival chairman Stuart McClean, who was presented with a cheque by Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce chairman Andrew Munden, of the North Norfolk Railway, said: 'I think the support we have received from the town's traders is more proof that we are all in the same race and it is a lovely feeling to know that all the organisations in Sheringham are working together.'