NEWS
Rider Alert Gallops into Kentucky

Lexington, KY (May 23, 2012) - PHI Air Medical LLC announced plans to partner with an important and new motorcycle safety program, Rider Alert. The partnership includes community outreach and education by providing customers and members of local communities in the region with free identification data cards that will help first responders provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to motorcyclists involved in serious accidents.

“These cards assist EMS providers to make medical, and at times life-saving, decisions for patients involved in these kinds of accidents,” explained Erik Rohde, Regional Director for PHI Air Medical. “We are proud to partner with Rider Alert and local first responders to help promote such an important new program for our communities and our customers.”

The Rider Alert cards are placed inside riders' helmets and contain vital, life-saving information, emergency contact, and any important medical history. When first responders arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident, a one-inch, round sticker on the outside of the helmet will indicate that the biker has the Rider Alert card. The sticker also warns bystanders not to remove the helmet, which could prevent further injury.

Rob Lawrence, Co Director of the Rider Alert Program and COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority said ‘ The safety partnership formed with PHI across many states will no doubt benefit riders as they turn to us in their extreme moment of need. The inclusion of PHI Air Medical across Kentucky and the local partnerships they have already started to form in their own state will continue to promote safety on two wheels going forward.

The Rider Alert motorcycle-safety program was launched in Richmond, Virginia on April 12, 2011 and is spreading rapidly throughout the state and nation. It was started by the Richmond Ambulance Authority and Bon Secours Virginia Health System in partnership with Motorcycle Virginia and is the first of its kind in the United States.

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and Rider Alert and the AAA issued the following tips for operators of all vehicles from two to eighteen wheels:

Tips for Motorists

  • Share the road. A motorcycle has the same privileges as any other vehicle on the road. Be courteous and give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
  • Position your mirrors to minimize blind spots. Before starting your vehicle, adjust the rearview mirror so it shows as much of the rear window as possible. While in the driver’s seat, place your head near the left window and adjust the left side-view mirror so you can just see the side of your vehicle. Then position your head near the middle of the vehicle, above the center console, and adjust the right side-view mirror so you can just see the side of your vehicle. Remember, it may take time to adjust to this view, so it’s important before driving with the new settings to practice looking at objects at the side and rear of your car.
  • Look out. Look for motorcyclists on the highway, especially at intersections when a cyclist may be making a turn or changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
  • Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. Obstructions (debris, potholes, etc.) that you may ignore or not notice can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Anticipate their possible evasive actions.
  • Allow plenty of space. Do not follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.
  • Keep your cool. Even if you get agitated seeing a motorcyclist making unsafe moves, do not attempt to play games on the road.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Make yourself visible. Choose protective gear that provides visibility and protection. This includes wearing bright colors. If riding at night, wear clothing with reflective materials.
  • Allow space. Position your bike in the lane so that you can be seen. Allow additional space for emergency braking and room to maneuver. Avoid riding in a motorist’s blind spot. Make lane changes gradually and use appropriate signaling.
  • Never share a lane beside a car. A driver may be unaware of your presence. Most drivers are looking for larger vehicles, not motorcycles.
  • Clearly signal your intentions. Use turn signals before changing lanes and never weave between lanes.
  • Don’t speed. Obey the posted limits and adjust your speed to the changing road conditions.
  • Wear protective gear. − Helmet – Always wear a U.S. DOT-approved helmet. It can save your life and it is the law in Virginia. − Eye protection – Visibility is key to riding safely. Many motorcycles do not have windshields. Riders should protect their eyes with goggles that can shield the face from wind and debris, both of which can cause tearing and, blurred vision. − Body Protection – Jackets with long sleeves and trousers protect limbs from injury. − Gloves – Durable gloves should be a non-slip type to permit a firm grip on controls. − Footwear – Proper over-the-ankles footwear should be worn to help prevent injuries.
  • Complete a motorcycle rider education and training course. The overwhelming majority of motorcyclists have had no formal training – they were self-taught or learned from family and friends. Before operating a motorcycle in Virginia, a rider must pass the motorcycle knowledge exam, hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for 30 days and pass the motorcycle road skills test. Completing a Virginia Rider Training Course exempts the rider from taking the exams.

The Rider Alert motorcycle safety program distributes free identification data cards that help first responders to provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to motorcyclists involved in serious accidents. Launched by the Richmond Ambulance Authority, Bon Secours Virginia Health System and Motorcycle Virginia! In April 2011, Rider Alert is the first program of its kind in the United States. The Rider Alert card is placed inside a rider’s helmet and contains vital life-saving information, emergency contacts and important medical history. When first responders arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident, a sticker on the outside of the helmet will indicate that the biker has a Rider Alert card. The sticker also warns bystanders not to remove the helmet, which could cause further injury.

PHI Air Medical LLC is a business unit of PHI, Inc., the world leader in rotary flight for over fifty years, providing support for many of the nation’s leading health care organizations. PHI Air Medical pilots have recorded more than ten million flight hours, in virtually every type of helicopter and terrain known. The Air Medical Group fleet consists of proven aircraft outfitted with medical interiors conducive to providing sustained emergent care for air medical transports. PHI Air Medical programs operate at or above Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) standards. PHI Air Medical’s headquarters are located in Phoenix, Arizona