Tour de Care - Yannick helps to keep the wheels in motion
NEAS's Frenchman in Yorkshire brings some va-va-voom to world's most famous cycle race
When the 101st Tour de France recently raced through
Yorkshire to euphoric scenes of adulation from thousands of sports
fans, how many of those people stopped to think about the
essential 'behind the scenes' planning that went into staging part
of the world's elite cycling showcase?
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) worked in
collaboration with the event organisers to plan medical support for
As the overarching medical framework was developed they asked
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) for
support in implementing the plan and seconded a specialist medical
care representative from NEAS to work at YAS.
He was embedded within the Tour de France planning team, working
through months of intricate preparation that went into ensuring the
safety of spectators and riders throughout the event.
With large-scale international sporting events such as the Tour
de France, neighbouring ambulance trusts can be called upon to
support their colleagues to manage the sheer extent of the
The skills of Yannick Raimbault, of the Hazardous Area Response
Team (HART) and Resilience Manager for NEAS, were put into practice
with his previous experience of working on Le Tour in his native
Nantes making him an ideal candidate for the specialist secondment.
Yannick is based at HART's main office in Russell House, Monkton in
Yannick worked extensively with all twelve local authorities who
were integral in securing and staging the race up and down the
country. 'Welcome to Yorkshire' was the lead organisation
that spearheaded Yorkshire's campaign to host the Grand Départ
section of the sporting centrepiece.
Yannick supported YAS and contributed to writing and delivering
the tactical and operational medical plan, coordinating the
dedicated private medical providers through Venture Medical
Services that would be used during Le Tour.
Alongside YAS colleagues, Yannick also worked closely with Tour
de France Hub 2014 Ltd to map out the potential route decisions and
judge where to best assign the nurses and doctors.
Yannick helped to put the medical framework in place and studied
the research data that was produced to estimate the level of crowd
attendance. This was an important element as his professional
judgement and that of the YAS Medical Directorate was used to
determine the overall medical provision needed to treat the
Here are some impressive facts taken from the Yorkshire stages
of the Tour de France:
584 people in the crowd or located within the race route
were treated by YAS and hub medical teams over the course of the
weekend. Out of all those patients, only 43 were subsequently
transferred to hospital for further treatment.
The medical provision at each of the identified spectator
hubs certainly helped to ease the impact of such a high profile
event on the ambulance service and the wider NHS.
Yannick knew from his past operational knowledge of Le Tour that
spectators tended to congregate en masse in the rural areas due to
the wonderful vantage points and idyllic settings. His predictions
were accurate as at one point nearly 60,000 people watched the race
along the winding roads of the Yorkshire
French-born Yannick, aged 42, of Ellington in Northumberland has
been with NEAS for thirteen years. He comes from a strong cycling
family with his father having twice taken part in Le Tour back in
the 1960s, and at the age of 73 still cycles 300 miles a
Yannick said: "All of the thorough planning by everyone involved
and team work really paid off, as the figures have shown that our
intervention significantly reduced the impact on the NHS during the
Tour de France."
Yannick continues: "The successful roll-out of the whole
operation was tantamount to people trusting our judgement. The
distribution of appropriate medical care to particular areas of the
route was justified in the number of patients we effectively
treated during Le Tour.
"All of the challenges and levels of expectation were achieved
through the specialist clinical and paramedic skills that were
available to us. YAS, NEAS, North West Ambulance Service and
East Midlands Ambulance Service and their partners should be proud
of the high level of patient care that was accomplished during this
world class event."
The famous cycling road race started on July 5th in Leeds and
speeds through into France until July 27th with the riders
completing 21 stages - covering a total distance of 3,664
NEAS provided a selection of resources and nearly 30 staff for
the two-day event in Yorkshire that included four mountain bike
paramedics, three ambulances and their crews and various other
No frontline vehicles or paramedics were taken from the North
East resources as all of the staff involved were off-duty and
volunteering their time to take part in the momentous
Yannick concludes: "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
Ian Walton, Associate Director of Resilience and Special
Services at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said that Yannick has been
a great asset to YAS and the TDF Hub planning team: "His 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 them 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 a success."