First aiders on wheels


Cycle Response Unit members ready to start patrolling the George Town enclave after the launch at the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

IF you happen to spot a group of cyclists clad in fluorescent yellow garb patrolling the George Town heritage enclave in Penang, be assured they are the Cycle Response Unit (CRU) ready to provide aid in case of an emergency.

The cyclists are trained to provide victims with first aid while waiting for the authorities or ambulance to arrive.

The CRU comprises members from the Community Emergency Rescue Team (CERT) George Town.

CERT George Town chairman Ong Swee Jin said the cyclists would be stationed around the heritage enclave.

“We decided to use bicycles. They are better for the environment as there will be no carbon emission.

“The team will ride around the enclave and keep a lookout for incidents.

“There are currently eight cyclists but we hope to have more soon and encourage other agencies or the public to join us in the future.

“We will provide them with the necessary training, ” he said during the launch of the team at the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi.

The Cycle Response Unit demonstrating how they would treat an injured person.The Cycle Response Unit demonstrating how they would treat an injured person.

For now, due to standard operating procedures, the team will be operating in the enclave on Sunday mornings only.

“Once the pandemic dies down and tourists are allowed back into Penang, we will operate during weekends, peak hours and special seasons like when the cruise ships come in, ” said Ong.

The initiative by CERT George Town will see the group working together with the local council and other agencies.

“We have 80 volunteers from thmedical and health line as well as other professional backgrounds.

“Apart from this initiative, we have our motorcyclist unit which also offers first aid.

“The unit is on standby, especially during heavy traffic hours when it takes longer for the ambulance to arrive.

“The motorcycle team can reach the location first and provide aid fast while evaluating the need for further medical care.

“Our motorcyclists are located in places that are furthest from the Penang Hospital to respond such as Paya Terubong and Ayer Itam, ” said Ong.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow who launched the CRU said Penang was now one step closer to becoming a safer community.

“We know that fast response is crucial for time-sensitive cases such as sudden cardiac arrest, ” he said.

Also present at the launch of the team were state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin and welfare, caring society and environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh.

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