We are a group of advanced riders who have come together to offer our time, skills and expertise, free of charge to provide an out of hours emergency response courier service to the NHS. This service is provided at no cost to the patient or the hospital that has requested our assistance. We do not receive any payments from the patient or hospital that has requested our assistance, nor do we receive any funding from any source for the service. All costs in providing the service have been covered by public donation or corporate sponsorship, shaking and rattling tins on street corners in our spare time, or even on occasion, we have put the fuel into the tank ourselves. We do this knowing that the beneficiary of our service will more than likely never know of our existence nor involvement in their recovery process, they will probably never meet us, and we rarely ever meet them. Most of us work full time jobs during the day, then in the evening we stand by our machines, ready and willing to take the call that may take us off into the night in all weather conditions to save a life. Our Motto is 'Riding for Life', some one else's.
Courier services: We transport various urgent or emergency items by means of specially adapted marked motorcycles. Devon Freewheelers Emergency Response Volunteers are a registered charity (1138889) and began to offer the service to the NHS in 2009. Four previous attempts to set up the service over a 20yr span all failed due to lack of funds, however our founder, Daniel Lavery, moved heaven and earth, sold his family home and used the proceeds to offer the service to the county because if it hadn't been for a similar service elsewhere, his wife and son may not be with him today. You can read his story in his 'blog' in the 'Our Volunteers' section. Some of the important supplies we transport include Blood Platelets for transfusion, blood samples for testing, human tissue samples, human organs for transplant, urgent or emergency medication between hospitals and pharmacies, small items of medical equipments for surgical teams, any service that may benefit the South West Transplant Services which may even include patients notes on CD ROMS. These supplies must be transportable by motorbike and be or an urgent or emergency nature.
Free-of-charge: No charge to the NHS, nil, nada, zero, zip, ie: free. Devon Freewheelers is a self-financing voluntary organisation. All our operating costs are provided through fund-raising and sponsorship. All workers are volunteers and receive no payment for their participation. Hard to believe is it not? We are very proud of the dedication our volunteers have shown to serve their local community. There is a cost however in the event of a non deliverable item (as in the rider arrives for the collection and the load cannot be carried on a motorbike) and for failed delivery that results in the item being returned to the hospital. This charge has been set at £25.00 and will be invoiced to the dispatching authority.
NHS facilities: including but not limited to hospitals, pharmacies, surgeries and medical centres. In special circumstances, we may transport supplies to or from a patient's home address, but the starting or finishing point must be an NHS facility. If the delivery is to a patient address then this must be of an urgent nature. This type of service would not include non urgent items such as patient property or TTA's
Our operating hours: We provide an out of hours service. We consider out of hours to be 1700hrs (5pm) until 0600hrs (6am) Monday to Friday and we extend the service to 24hrs at weekends and bank holidays. Any operations outside of these hours will be at our discretion and only if a volunteer accepts the job. At no time are we ever obliged to accept any request for service and the service can be withdrawn or terminated at any time due to weather or safety concerns, or at the discretion of the committee if they feel the service has been abused.