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Last updated: 19/11/2018, 4:18 PM

Off duty firefighter saves motorcyclist and urges Londoners to sign up to Brigade's Biker Down course

19/11/2018 11:40
London-wide
Our organisation

A firefighter who saved the life of a biker is urging Londoners to sign up to the Brigade’s bike safety course, Biker Down, during Road Safety Week.

Firefighter Tony Champess had just come off duty and was about to leave West Norwood station when he heard the collision between a motorbike and a car and saw the rider was lying motionless on the road.

Biker Down course teaches life-saving skills

Tony is an instructor on the Brigade’s free Biker Down course which aims to give motorcyclists vital tools to help them if they are involved in a crash or witness one.

Tony said: “The rider was not breathing, so I decided that I had to immediately remove his helmet and open up his airway. I stayed with him until the ambulance crews arrived.”

The rider was Mario Petrov and was later reunited with Tony. Tony continued: “Mario was very grateful and said that I was now part of his life’s story and that it was thanks to my actions his son wouldn’t grow up without a dad. The skills I displayed can be learnt by any motorcyclist who attends our Biker Down courses. You learn how to manage the scene if you come across a collision and how to give immediate emergency aid. I would implore people to sign up for the next available course.”

Sign up to our free Biker Down! course

Would you know what to do if you came across a collision? You can find out by joining us for one of our sessions.

Find out more and book your place

Bikers and cyclists amongst most vulnerable road users

London firefighters attend nearly five road traffic collisions involving bicycles and motorbikes a week, with TfL stating that in 2017, motorcyclists continued to make up a disproportionate number of fatalities and serious injuries given their traffic share.

Road safety charity Brake says cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK, with more than 100 riders injured every day in needless, preventable crashes. London Fire Brigade is supporting Brake’s Bike Smart campaign and has issued top tips which you can find on our pages for motorcyclists and cyclists.

Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said: “Our crews are regularly called to serious road traffic collisions involving cyclists and motorbikes and our firefighters are exceptionally well trained and have specialist equipment to help people in need.”

Road Safety Week 2018

During Road Safety Week, the Brigade will also run events targeted at cyclists as they represent one of the most vulnerable road users. The events will range from dispensing safety advice in Walthamstow Market in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service on Wednesday to a cycle event at Shoreditch fire station on Friday morning.