The concept of the Rider Alert Card is to place Next of Kin and contact details inside a motorcyclist’s crash helmet to provide details to attending emergency services and or Emergency Department staff, when a rider cannot communicate with first responders and beyond.
The idea came originally from the United Kingdom, where it began as a small project to distribute rider information cards in the county of Essex. The scheme’s popularity soon meant that cards were available to riders across England and Scotland including the world famous road races at the Isle of Man TT. Since then, approximately 325,000 “CRASH Cards,” as they are known in the UK, have been distributed.
Following initial meetings with the former Governor’s Motorcycle Advisory Council, (now “Motorcycle Virginia”) formal support and endorsement was offered to the evolving project. Following, generous sponsorship from Bon Secours Virginia Health System and the re-formed Motorcycle Virginia has allowed the project to advance through the concept and design stages to its launch in April 2011.
Rider Alert Card
The proposed card will contain essential details of rider’s name, emergency contact details, the relationship of the rider to the person at the contact number and any relevant medical details, which can aid initial treatment. The card is produced on special waterproof paper that can be written on with a ballpoint pen and should be able to withstand the ‘environment’ inside a rider’s helmet.
Rider Alert Decal
Accompanying the card, which will be placed inside the helmet, will be a decal that is to be applied to the exterior surface of the helmet or on the side of the visor. The decal will advise the presence of the card and is an integral part of the system.
The final design contains (with kind permission of the Virginia Office of EMS) the ‘EMS Star of Life’ and the words ‘Do Not Remove Helmet’. This was placed as a safety advisory statement to bystanders who may be tempted to render assistance without the benefit of PHTLS training or skills. First Responders and beyond, should continue to act to the limit of their protocols and training for dealing with helmets at all times (in determining whether airway management requires the helmet be removed on scene or keeping it in place until the arrival of the patient at the Emergency Department.
The first phase of the Virginia rollout of the alert card takes place at the Richmond Ambulance Authority (covering the metro-Richmond area) at 11:00 a.m. April 12, 2011. Leading up to this event, further briefings will be issued on the card and its use.
The master plan is to roll this across the whole Commonwealth and then the country. If other localities are interested in being the next Virginia location to “go live,” please contact Rob Lawrence at email@example.com or at (804) 205-2557 for a briefing on the requirements and assistance.
The Rider Alert Card, while simple in concept, has already been proven in the UK, is relatively easy to produce, and will provide many benefits to rider safety and aid responding emergency providers.
Chief Operating Officer
Richmond Ambulance Authority
Chairman (Virginia) Rider Alert Project