Paramedic’s vital Tour de France role

HELPFUL ... Yannick Raimbault of the Hazardous Area Response Team (Hart) and resilience manager for North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).
HELPFUL ... Yannick Raimbault of the Hazardous Area Response Team (Hart) and resilience manager for North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).

A PARAMEDIC from South Tyneside helped plan emergency care for millions of spectators watching the Tour de France when it came to Britain.

As crowds gathered in Yorkshire earlier this month to cheer on cyclists during the first two stages of the race, they were all being carefully watched by Yannick Raimbault.

Mr Raimbault, who works with the hazardous area response team (Hart) for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), is based in Monkton, Jarrow, and was called upon to help as he had previous experience of working on Le Tour in his native Nantes, west France.

The 42-year-old supported the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and helped put together a medical framework to cater for the millions of spectators who turned out on the two stages of the world-famous race.

He said: “All of the planning by everyone involved and teamwork really paid off. The figures have shown that our intervention significantly reduced the impact on the NHS during the Tour de France.”

“The success of the whole operation was because of people trusting our judgement. The distribution of appropriate medical care in particular areas of the route was justified in the number of patients we effectively treated during Le Tour.”

Mr Raimbault, whose father took part in the race twice in the 1960s, knew from experience that spectators would tend to congregate in the rural areas because of the better vantage points.

In total, 584 people were treated by the ambulance service and medical teams during the course of the competition.

Out of these, only 43 were transferred to hospital for further treatment.

About 30 NEAS staff volunteered their time to help out during the event, which ends in Paris on Sunday,

Mr Raimbault, who lives in Northumberland, added: “The feedback we’ve received from NEAS staff who took part in the Tour de France has been excellent.”

Ian Walton, associate director of resilience and special services at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said that Mr Raimbault has been a great asset. He said: “His focus in supporting the delivery of the medical provision for the race itself has been excellent.

“Our planning team will miss him on his return to NEAS, but I hope this leads to greater partnership working with them in the future.

“I would like to express my personal thanks to Yannick and all his NEAS colleagues who came to Yorkshire and helped to make the event such a great a success.”

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