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Plymouth taxi drivers join list of cabbies carrying life saving RAPAID emergency bandages


Image credit: RAPAID

Plymouth has joined a growing list of UK cities to outfit taxi cabs with military-grade emergency bandages. The initiative, spearheaded by the Oxford-based charity RAPAID, aims to provide immediate assistance in situations of serious blood loss.


The emergency bandage kits were recently installed in cabs stationed outside Plymouth railway station, marking a significant step in making life-saving equipment readily available to the public. This initiative mirrors successful implementations in other cities such as London, Oxford, Swindon, Exeter, and Manchester, highlighting a nationwide effort to improve emergency response capabilities.

Taxis equipped with these kits can be identified by Green RAPAID window stickers, signaling to both the public and emergency services that they have vital first-aid resources onboard. These bandages can be crucial in preventing fatalities by stemming blood loss in the critical moments following incidents like knife attacks or traffic accidents.


RAPAID celebrates a notable achievement with the installation of over 2000 emergency bandage kits in London cabs last year. The charity reports that several kits have already been utilised in emergencies, highlighting their practical value and the importance of widespread access to such life-saving tools.


The initiative allows any individual to flag down a taxi bearing the RAPAID sticker to access the emergency bandages. Simple instructions included in the kit guide the user on how to apply the bandage effectively, providing an immediate response to stop bleeding until professional medical help arrives.


Charity founder, Alex Chivers, who grew up and went to school in Devon, is determined to distribute the emergency bandage kits to taxi cabs across the entire country. Alex, a former police firearms officer and military veteran, said: “With a serious haemorrhage, the grim facts are that you can bleed to death in under five minutes. The faster direct pressure and treatment begins the better the chances of survival. The bandages are designed to be quick and simple to use, they are the same bandages I carried during my career in the military and in the Police, so It made perfect sense to make these bandages available and accessible to the public.”

Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth and Minister of State for Veterans’ Affairs, is supportive of the initiative. He said: “Having served in the British Army on the frontline I fully understand the importance of immediate and effective medical intervention especially when it comes to a serious haemorrhage. There is excellent work being done in Plymouth to tackle knife crime and anti-social behaviour, and to make our roads safer, but effective response is just as important as prevention when it comes to saving lives. RAPAID's initiative is a practical solution for our communities, and I commend RAPAID for their dedication to enabling everyone in Plymouth to become a potential life saver with these simple but effective kits until help arrives on scene. I’d also like to thank Plymouth’s taxi drivers for getting on board and agreeing to ‘host’ the bags in their cabs.”


RAPAID’S arrival in Plymouth has also been welcomed by the secretary for the Plymouth Licensed Taxi Association (PLTA), Martin Leaves, who said: “We caught wind of the RAPAID initiative not too long ago when the news arose that 2000 of London’s black cabs had been equipped with the emergency bandage kits. The drivers are very proud to be supporting this initiative. Taxis are in and out of key locations across Plymouth day and night, and as taxi drivers, we want to do as much as we can to support and make our community a safer place.”

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