RAPAID, the emergency bandages charity, hit a major milestone on Monday 20 November, as it equipped its 2000th London taxi with a life-saving kit, just nine days before the fourth anniversary of the 2019 London Bridge terrorist attack in which two people - Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt - tragically lost their lives.
The charity’s founder, Alex Chivers, presented taxi driver, Howard Taylor, with the kit, which contains military-style emergency bandages, outside London Bridge tube station.
He was joined by Darryn Frost QGM, who confronted the attacker with a Narwhal tusk, preventing further loss of life, and Travis Frain BCA, an anti-terrorism activist and survivor of the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack.
RAPAID kits enable a rapid response to catastrophic bleeding through easy-to-use bandages, surgical gloves and an instruction card.
Each black cab that carries a kit features a window sticker, alerting people that there is a kit on board so that they can be flagged down in an emergency.
The 2000th installation is part of RAPAID’s ambition to deploy its emergency bandage kits in half of London’s hackney carriages. Supported by the Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association (LTDA) and endorsed by Transport to London (TfL), the initiative aims make emergency bandage kits as accessible as possible so that members of the public can become vital first responders in emergency situations where casualties experience blood loss.
Since the rollout began, RAPAID’s kits have been used several times, including a recent road traffic accident and an incident in which a police officer flagged down a cab so they could help an injured member of the public.
The charity has also successfully placed RAPAID kits in taxis across Manchester, Swindon, Exeter and Oxford, and in a number of public places and visitor attractions.
Travis Frain BCA, who is a patron for RAPAID and an advisor to Counter Terrorism Policing at Scotland Yard, said: “During the Westminster Bridge terror attack, I saw first-hand the panic that ensues after an incident and the critical need for blood-stemming equipment in those initial moments.
"It’s amazing to think that 2,000 taxis are now equipped with RAPAID bandages. It’s like a silent safety net that can be drawn out during accidents or attacks to save lives.”
Darryn Frost QGM who is engaging with the City of London Police to support their counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent, commented: “Since the events of four years ago, I’ve really valued initiatives that bring people together to work towards the common purpose of protecting public safety, which is why I was happy to see RAPAID achieve such a momentous milestone today.
"Attacks can happen at any time, anywhere, so having these bandages widely available in taxis - a constant presence on our streets - is hugely reassuring.”
RAPAID founder Alex Chivers, a Special Forces veteran and former Police tactical firearms commander who has deployed emergency bandages in the field, commented: “In a trauma event, immediate intervention is critical, as a person can bleed out from an arterial would in as little as five minutes.
"The emergency bandages in our kits are designed to apply pressure without the need for a tourniquet, buying valuable time before the emergency services arrive on scene. Our aim is to make these kits as ubiquitous as fire extinguishers.
“I’d like to thank Howard for becoming the 2000th London taxi driver to carry our kit. Milestones like these keep us focused on our ambition to make emergency bandages available in every public location and we’ll be working hard to build on this achievement.”