Tony Smith, Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service Fire Bike Team Leader.
Way back in 2011 myself and a group of firefighter bikers decided to explore the opportunity of creating a Fire Bike Team. We gained support from Senior Management and set about procuring a bike and PPE so we could get started.
The Fire Bike Team is a team of firefighters dedicated to reducing the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Hertfordshire roads. The Fire Bike is used as an engagement tool to attract bikers at club meets and other biker events where we can then engage with them to discuss the safety aspects of biking, give advice and recruit them onto a number of courses that we provide.
The courses include:
You may notice my mention of our partnership with IAM RoadSmart. Once we were getting the team established, we quickly realised that our standard of riding would need to be as high as possible, so we turned to IAM RoadSmart to assist with this. I have to say that this was a very smart move in hindsight as this partnership has seen us reap several benefits that we had not realised we would.
I started by enrolling on the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider course which I initially found quite challenging. Several years of riding had seen me develop several bad habits that I didn’t know I had. With the help of my Observer supplied by the Herts & Beds Advanced Motorcyclists group (HBAM) I had several sessions out on the road, a few classroom sessions and passed my advanced examination with a F1RST.
Since then I have gone on to become a Local Observer, gained a F1RST in my master’s exam and last month passed my National Observer’s exam. All of this has made me a significantly better rider, raised my knowledge of riding theory and practice to a much higher level and most importantly allowed me to coach and mentor others to do the same.
I cannot overstate how much I have enjoyed my journey with IAM RoadSmart and how the partnership with our Fire Bike Team has paid off in so many ways.
Biker Down Short Information