Program to help save lives, reduce further trauma for injured motorcyclists

SUFFERN, N.Y. (May 16, 2011) – Bon Secours Charity Health System (BSCHS) is launching the Rider Alert Card Program – an initiative that has the potential to save the lives of motorcyclists or reduce the severity of their injuries after an accident.

The Rider Alert Card Program provides motorcyclists with a decal to stick on the outside of their helmets and a waterproof information card to insert between the helmet’s lining and shell.  When an accident occurs and a rider is left physically injured, incoherent or unconscious, this sticker notifies passersby that come to the aid of the motorcyclist that they should leave the injured rider’s helmet intact, and this should help prevent additional trauma to the rider.

Once emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive, these responders will be alerted to the information card by the decal on the helmet.  When appropriate to remove the helmet, responders will have immediate access to the rider’s allergies, existing medical conditions, and emergency contacts.

The program has the potential to improve treatment following a crash for thousands of the region’s motorcyclists.  In 2009, 11,300 motorcycle accidents occurred in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Of these accidents, 729 were fatal.  Although there are many factors that can lead to an accident, the Rider Alert Card Program at BSCHS also serves as a motorcyclist’s reminder to practice safe riding on the road while providing precautionary medical assistance if an accident occurs.  The program promotes the well-being of the area’s many passionate riders.

“We encourage all motorcyclists to take advantage of this free and easy program,” said Philip A. Patterson, CEO of BSCHS.  “As the weather improves, more motorcyclists will be riding in our community.  We believe the Rider Alert Card Program will assist in getting those riders home safely and, in the event of an emergency, will better prepare bystanders and EMS professionals at the scene of the accident.”

The Rider Alert Program traces its roots to the United Kingdom, where it was developed by an EMS motorcyclists’ club, the Ambulance Motorcycle Club, and more than 300,000 cards have been given out there to date.  The program was recently brought to the United States by BSCHS’ sister health system, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, in partnership with Richmond (Va.) Ambulance Authority and Motorcycle Virginia.

“This program is unique in that it was developed by EMS professionals who are also motorcyclists,” said BSCHS Coordinator Ernie Stonick, who is spearheading the program.  “Rider Alert is designed to help first responders save the lives of riders by providing accurate medical assistance.”

For more information or to request cards, contact Ernie Stonick at (845) 368-5408 or

About Bon Secours Charity Health System
The Bon Secours Charity Health System includes Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., a regional medical center, and two community hospitals: Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, N.Y., and St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick, N.Y.  Additionally, Bon Secours Charity Health System provides the services of a Certified Home Health Agency, two long-term care facilities, an assisted living and adult home facility, and several other off-site medical programs.  The Bon Secours Charity Health System draws its name from the two Catholic orders that jointly sponsor the system: The Sisters of Bon Secours and the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.  For more information, visit



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