When the Tour de France came to Yorkshire, organisers knew just who to turn to for medical support.
For Ellington man Yannick Raimbault not only had 13 years’ experience with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), including serving with the Hazardous Area Response Team and as Resilience Manager, to his name.
But he had also worked on Le Tour in his native Nantes.
And if that was not enough, his father twice took part in the famous bike race in the 1960s and at the age of 73 still cycles 300 miles a week.
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) was responsible for planning medical support for the event and asked NEAS for assistance, taking Mr Raimbault on secondment.
He was embedded with the planning team, working with 12 local authorities through months of intricate preparation to ensure the safety of riders and spectators.
Mr Raimbault helped to write and deliver the tactical and operational medical plan, co-ordinate medical providers and judge where to assign nurses and doctors. Thanks to his experience, he knew that spectators would congregate in rural areas for the best vantage points and scenery and directed resources accordingly.
The race began in Leeds on Saturday, July 5 and during the weekend of the Yorkshire leg, 584 people along the route were treated by ambulance staff and medical teams, with only 43 of those transferred to hospital for further treatment.
NEAS provided a selection of resources and nearly 30 staff for the event, but no frontline vehicles or paramedics were taken from local resources as those involved were off-duty and volunteering.
Mr Raimbault said: “The feedback we’ve received from NEAS staff who took part in the Tour de France has been excellent. They thought it was a privilege to work at such a prestigious event and to help keep the massive crowds safe to enjoy the sporting spectacle.”
YAS Associate Director of Resilience and Special Services Ian Walton said: “Yannick’s focus in supporting the delivery of the medical provision for the race itself has been excellent.
“Our TDF planning team will miss him on his return to NEAS, but I hope this leads to greater partnership working with it in the future and I would like to express my personal thanks to Yannick and all his NEAS colleagues who came to Yorkshire and helped to make the event such a great success.”
The Tour de France covers 3,664km in 21 stages and finishes in France on Sunday.