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Ilford paramedic saddling up for 1,200-mile cycling challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:55 21 May 2012

From left: Robbie Hickling, Joe Collins, Alex Batty and Stephen Macciochi

From left: Robbie Hickling, Joe Collins, Alex Batty and Stephen Macciochi

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Three London Ambulance Service paramedics will be cycling 1,200 miles in 16 days to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Paramedic Stephen Macciochi, from Khartoum Road, Ilford, who has been with service for 20 years came up with the idea almost a year ago.

The paramedics from the service’s hazardous area response team (HART) who provide life-saving medical care in hostile environments, such as industrial accidents and natural disasters, started the gruelling challenge on Monday.

Mr Macciochi said: “We will be visiting all 16 HART stations on our tour and the most northern will be Newcastle and western Exeter.

“I came off my bike a couple of months ago while training and broke my coccyx but I’m now back on the saddle. We’re all fairly fit anyway given the nature of our everyday job but the part I’m most dreading is crossing the Pennines by going uphill for over 60 miles straight.”

Mr Macciochi was originally taking on the challenge with three other colleagues, but unfortunately Robbie Hickling was forced to drop out because of a knee injury, so now he will be cycling alongside Joe Collins and Alex Batty.

He added: “We decided to raise money for Help for Heroes as there are a lot of colleagues who served in the armed forces before joining the ambulance service. More relevantly to HART, a lot of the techniques we use in our job have been developed on the battlefield.

“So far we have raised just over £2,300 and I would be chuffed if we managed to get to £5,000.”

To support the team’s effort, you can make a donation at www.bmycharity.com/harttohart.


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