Laois bikers are on the road delivering vital Covid-19 equipment

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois bikers are on the road delivering vital Covid-19 equipment

Justin Kavanagh from Mountmellick delivering to St Vincent's CNU for the Bravo Charlie Tango volunteer group.

Laois bikers are part of a 500 strong network travelling the country bringing equipment to frontline medics during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Bravo Charlie Tango - Bikers Coming Through biker team are a voluntary group of motorcyclists from all over Ireland, covering every country. They have committed to moving whatever needs moving in order to help frontline workers, be it by bike, car or van.

The Irish motorcyclists are delivering donations of emergency medical supplies including protective clothing directly to hospitals and medical centres.

It was set up only a few weeks ago by Mervyn Colton, born out of a cancelled national event the Irish Photo Rally. The logistics are handled by Killeigh woman Linda Colton who is on lockdown in Italy. 

There are about 20 bikers from Laois involved. They include Justin Kavanagh, a self employed audiologist from Mountmellick, who also has a degree in infection control, and is a keen biker. 

He has put his name down for extra HSE recruitment during the pandemic, but in the meantime wanted to help in a practical way.

He spoke to the Leinster Express this week as he was on his way to pick up boxes of surgical gloves in Athlone from a factory. He would be delivering them to St Fintan's campus in Portlaoise and to St Vincent's CNU in Mountmellick.

"There was just such an outcry for PPE. This is the easiest way to transport it. Donations are from small companies and factories. It just saves them another cost of delivery. We are getting calls from small hospitals and units all over Ireland. We are like ants running all over the country, connecting up to do the deliveries," he said.

They pay for their own fuel and exercise social distancing, using gloves and masks ourselves changed regularly.

"I open the box on my bike, the donor puts the items in and the recipient takes them out, then i spray the box. It's very thorough," he said.

He is asking for more donations and thanks the companies already turning to making and donating items.

"We want to highlight the need for PPE. There's a company in Tullamore called Midland Sacks who have started making gowns. Moran Gin is making hand sanitiser, they are reinventing themselves. We have a list of people looking for the PPE and we will get it directly to them," he said.

Baby monitors are needed.

"We will sanitise them.They are needed so nurses can communicate with patients with Covid without having to use PPE every time," Justin explained.

"It's a great group. Bikers used to have a bad image but if you see bikers on the road now, don't assume it is someone out breaking the rules for a spin. They are probably carrying equipment," he said.

Products requested include PPE: Gloves, face-masks, face shields, bio-hazard suits and more.
Walkie talkies and baby monitors. Raw Materials: Foam, elastic string for face shields, 3D printing filament, Access to vacuum formers or laser cutters, Plastic sheeting.

The group ask that donors ensure that these products are in good working order and in good condition. Boxes of disposable materials (eg gloves) should be unopened. They will not be able to return goods to owners. Donors will be notified by email or text about how to pass these materials to our delivery volunteers in a safe and hygienic manner. Those receiving these materials must acknowledge the risks associated.

See their website page here

Email: ppedonationsire@gmail.com