Riding Skills: Interview with a Blood Runner

By MCN -

Riding Skills

 27 October 2010 15:44

For most of us, going out riding is a great chance to unwind and relax. However a small number of riders across the South of England manage to combine their love of motorcycling with providing an extremely valuable and needy service. 

SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) - otherwise known as the Blood Runners - is made up of volunteer bikers & riders who are despatched to deliver urgently needed medical items such as Blood, Blood Products, Biological Samples, Vaccines, Medical Notes, X-Rays, Scans and Donor Breast Milk to hospitals all over the South of England, wherever and whenever its needed. The service has saved thousands of lives by transporting blood to patients who need it urgently.

RED Driving School instructor Danny Bateman teaches pupils to drive during the day and in the evenings and at weekends he is a blood runner for SERV. We spoke to Danny to find out how his career as a driving instructor helps him fit in his commitments with SERV and to learn his thoughts on how his charity work has also helped his career.  

How did you get involved with SERV?
I met a guy from one of the other SERV groups at a motorcycle rally and was impressed with what they did, I then discovered there was a new start up group near where I live, in Northamptonshire, so I joined up, and the rest is history!

What really inspired you about the work SERV do and what do you enjoy about it?
My children have benefited from the care provided by the NHS. This is one way I can give something back.

Delivering blood to hospitals must be fairly stressful, how do you think your experiences as a driving instructor prepares you for it?
My skills & attitude as an advanced driver are very important when carrying out duties for SERV. It’s very easy to get carried away, go that bit quicker, cut that corner etc, but in truth, there’s no point in speeding and taking risks, only to crash on the last bend before the hospital. It’s more important that the consignment gets there safely. Someone’s life may well depend on it.”

How do you think working with SERV helps improve your skills as a driving instructor?
Working with the media and speaking to the public for SERV has certainly helped improve my confidence and communication skills as an instructor. I carry out driving assessments for new SERV members which, I couldn’t do without my instructor training skills. So I often apply skills I’ve learnt from one role to the other. I certainly think my career makes me a better contributor to SERV.  For me RED and SERV compliment each other really well.

How does being a driving instructor help you fit in your commitments with SERV?
I don’t work weekends so I have Saturday and Sunday free to work on SERV. If anything urgent comes up in the week, which it often does, I can easily re-arrange my diary to fit in the extra commitments.


Story supplied by Laura Harris of RED Instructor Training who provide driving instructor training all over the UK.