Motorcyclists are around 38 times more likely to be killed than people in cars - because a collision that would barely damage a vehicle could easily claim a biker’s life.
Now, firefighters in Stirling and Clackmannanshire are running Biker Down courses to give riders potentially life-saving skills to help them make the scene of a collision safe and protect a casualty.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews regularly respond to serious collisions knowing those on two wheels are by far the most likely to be involved in a tragedy.
As many riders travel in pairs or groups a fellow biker is often the first person on scene following an incident involving a motorcycle.
Group Manager for Prevention and Protection Mark Duffy said: “Our crews are all too familiar with the devastating aftermath of incidents on the roads.
“Firefighters are often needed to help people who are trapped and injured following a crash, but sadly there are times when their specialist rescue skills just aren’t enough.
“Biker Down isn’t about lecturing riders on the consequences of things going wrong – it’s about equipping them to make a difference if they encounter an emergency.
“If someone there when a crash happens has the skills to manage the scene and provide first aid it could save a life.”
The FREE three hour course is aimed at motorcyclists of all ages and experience.
Participants learn ways of making a scene safe, first aid appropriate to common types of injury and how to safely remove a helmet.
It also offers the chance to learn practical skills to help avoid being involved in a crash.
The course uses the expertise of not just the fire service but The Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland to prepare motorcyclists should the worst happen on the roads.
Watch Manager Gary Wood wants other motorcyclists to come forward to learn potentially life-saving skills.
He said: “Every day around 30 bikers come to harm on Britain’s roads.
“Biker Down gives an insight to what it’s like at the scene of an incident and what steps can be taken to help prevent them becoming tragedies.
“Learning some basic first person on scene techniques could make all the difference and keep a casualty alive until specialist medical helps gets to them.
“The A84, A85 and roads nearby in the local Stirling and Clacks area are a popular choice of riding routes for bikers from all over the country so we are pleased to be able to offer this valuable initiative to local motorcyclists.”
Local Senior Officer for Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Roddie Keith said: “We have a tremendous opportunity here to improve safety for bikers in the Stirling Area.
“Our dedicated volunteers and partners are sharing their experience to make sure that bikers know how best to be seen, how to avoid becoming a road victim and how to safely provide life-saving assistance if they are first on the scene of an incident.
“The support of our elected members is invaluable in securing the future of this initiative and is greatly appreciated."
Councillor Maureen Bennison said: “These are the first SFRS Biker Down workshops to be held in the Stirling area and we are fully supportive of this valuable initiative. These courses have the potential to greatly assist motorcyclists in becoming safer riders, and equipping them with knowledge and skills that could really make a difference in the event of a road traffic collision occurring.”
Councillor Evelyn Tweed said: ““I welcome and encourage the SFRS Biker Down initiative and I am delighted that the location of these courses are in Callander Community Fire Station. Callander attracts a high number of motorcyclists from all over the country who wish to visit the area and ride along the popular A84/A85 routes. Working with our partners in the SFRS, Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland, courses like Biker Down are vital to help riders and improve their outcomes if they are involved in a crash.”
The Callander courses all commence at 10:00am at Callander Community Fire Station, Geisher Road, Lagrannoch Industrial Estate, Callander, Stirling, FK17 8LX on Sunday, July 29 and Sunday, August 12.
Booking is essential as there are only 25-30 free places available on each course.
To book and for further details see the Biker Down Scotland Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/Biker-Down-Scotland-100598230291251/ or email with your details to book at firstname.lastname@example.org – this email can also be used to book courses in South Queensferry.
Biker Down courses are also available at Oban, Motherwell and Inveraray fire stations. To book on one of these courses please email: email@example.com