Life Healthcare and Gardmed Ambulance Service have reconfirmed their commitment to providing full medical support for The Herald VW Cycle Tour in Addo and Port Elizabeth on 2 and 3 February 2013.
Life St George's hospital manager André Bothma said that the group was once again proud to be associated with the event. "We have an excellent working relationship with Gardmed and participants can rest assured that they will receive the best possible medical care, should they require it."
Bothma said that trauma-trained nursing staff from Life St George's and Life Mercantile hospitals would be on duty in the medical tents at both the mountain bike and road events. "And Gardmed will provide the paramedic support on the routes. In the unfortunate event of an accident or incident, they will assist and bring the rider to our nearest hospital."
Holistic emergency service
According to Gardmed's marketing manager, Shawn Hartzenberg, the 2013 edition would mark the 10th anniversary of the ambulance service's involvement with the event. "Immediate and efficient medical treatment is always important when dealing with illness and injuries. We provide a holistic emergency service according to best practice and industry standards."
Hartzenberg said that emergency services personnel - qualified in basic, intermediate and advanced life support - would be on duty throughout the weekend festival of cycling. "On the Saturday, two ambulances, an off-road emergency vehicle and quad bikes will cover the mountain bike course."
He said that the vehicles would be stationed at high-risk hot spots, such as the top and bottom of the Zuurberg Pass, with the quad bikes providing access to the more remote single-track sections. "We'll also have a roaming medic who will assist in the medical tent at the Addo Polo Club race village if needed."
Full road closure for children's safety
Hartzenberg said that an additional ambulance crew would be on standby at the family road events on the PE beachfront. "For the Sunday's feature races, there will be four ambulances on the road."
The lead ambulance would follow the pro teams up front, while the other three would be stationed at key points, such as Seaview Road and Cow's Corner, he said.
Event coordinator Linda Harwood said that rolling road closures would be in effect from the early hours of Sunday morning to ensure the safety of all participants. "For Saturday's family races, we've managed to secure full road closure between 10am and 12pm along Beach Road and Marine Drive. So parents can have peace of mind that their children are in safe hands."
For the event and road closure schedules, go to www.heraldcycletour.co.za