The DSO took a bike ride out to Frank's Tank, near Studland, this morning. Accompanied by his son, one of the objectives of the exercise was to check the state of the track and the access of this popular mountain bike route.
The trail features a long, fast downhill stretch and a fallen cyclist here could well mean serious injury, hence it's good for the team to be familiar with the area in case we are called in for first aid and/or to assist with a helicopter evacuation or carry out by stretcher to a road ambulance. Local knowledge can save precious seconds in an emergency.
Sadly we learned today of a local cyclist who came off his bike over the weekend and suffered a broken leg. The hillside location to the north of Swanage wasn't accessible to road ambulances and with the air ambulance unavailable the team would have been ideally placed to assist with first aid and carry out.
Sadly the team weren't tasked and the cyclist's mates, some of whom had already cycled 100 miles that day had to assist the paramedic with the 45 minute stretcher carry.
Only a few weeks ago one of our training sessions was devoted to locating and stabilising a casualty on the coast path and stretchering him out to safety.
By the way, the other objective for the morning's bike ride was to get an ice cream at the viewpoint on the Corfe / Studland road, and I am pleased to report mission accomplished.