22 September, 2021
Cairns volunteers ensure cameras keep rolling in Netflix's local production
Eight local Cairns bikers who recently joined BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA, a national group of independent volunteer motorcyclists, today commenced delivery of COVID test samples from the testing hub at Mission Beach to Cairns. The weekly run will support filming of the Netflix series “Irreverent” which commenced at Mission Beach this month.
The test samples are taken by one of BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA’s motorcyclists to Cairns, from where they are sent on to Brisbane for testing at the Mater Hospital, ensuring results by the end of the next day.
“This volunteer service eases a lot of the pressure on the nation’s healthcare systems,” according to BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA founder Peter Davis. Based in Brisbane, Peter was in Cairns to welcome the local team to the group.
“But in this case, we are also helping the local film industry continue in a Covid safe environment so the cameras can keep rolling,” he added.
Inspired by BloodBikes UK, Peter founded BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA in 2019 to offer similar services here. He said, “it is a chance for motorcyclists to do what they love – ride motorbikes – and give back to their local communities.”
He described the organisation as a “last resort service” for healthcare providers. “We’re not trying to compete with commercial couriers or displace in-house arrangements of hospitals and labs. We’re just picking up the slack where needed.”
Since its establishment BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA has grown to more than 350 independent volunteer riders in all states and territories of Australia. The group transports “last resort” deliveries of blood, other pathology and medical supplies for healthcare providers as needed. Servicing 33 healthcare providers around the country, deliveries have included blood, biopsies, COVID tests, clinical trial program tests, paperwork and files, as well as personal items left behind by patients at hospitals and clinics on discharge, medical consumables for in home patients, and stem cells. COVID tests have comprised 80 percent of deliveries since last year.
Peter added that BLOODBIKES AUSTRALIA volunteers are not “wannabe” police or ambulance drivers. “We are not emergency vehicles; we abide by all road rules at all times,” he said.
“Importantly, we are not paid for our service. Our riders volunteer themselves, their motorcycles, their fuel, and their tolls. It’s really about helping and giving back,” Peter said.
Will Russel of Mossman, one of the local Cairns team members, added that he was pleased to join the group and give something back to the local community. “This is a great way to do something good in the community, with the added bonus that I get to take my bike out for a ride,” he said.