POLICE have provided a lifeline to people in need of emergency care.
The Northumbria Police Charities Fund has paid for a top-of-the-range satellite navigation system for Northumbria Blood Bikes.
The charity offers out-of-hours delivery of life-saving medical supplies to hospitals and health centres in the North East, free of charge, saving the NHS thousands of pounds.
The BMW 1200 RT bike ferries vital blood and organs to hospitals around the region.
Owain Harris, a former Northumbria Police constable who works for the charity, said the sat-nav will save lives.
He said: “It will make a huge difference because we cover from Berwick all the way to Darlington.
“So if we have got riders living in Amble or Berwick, it will save them a lot of time as they won’t have to find their way between blood banks and hospitals.”
The sat-nav, which cost £625 and is fitted to the motorbike, will be programmed with the locations of all of the hospitals and blood banks in the area.
Detective chief superintendent Alan Veitch, said police will keep supporting the blood bikes.
He said: “The training and managing of emergency vehicles is essential in taking the blood safely.
“It is something we will keep supporting and it is good to see volunteers helping in such a positive way.”
The charity has two motorbikes and is hoping to officially launch its service in the new year. Blood bikes member John Parish, a former police neighbourhood inspector, said its 60 volunteers are hoping to make a difference. He said: “It’s saving lives because you can quickly get there out of hours.”