London's black cabs have been fitted with some very important new equipment

400 London taxis will be kitted out with lifesaving bandages as part of a new TfL scheme. Black cabs carrying the military-grade bandages will have a sticker in the windshield so they can be identified in an emergency. 

The emergency bandages will be able to slow down serious blood loss after an accident or major incident, such as a stabbing or terror attack. Provided by charity Rapaid, these types of bandages are carried by the UK and US Armed Forces. Up to 18kg of pressure can be applied to wounds through the use of the dressings. 

Alex Chivers, the charity’s founder, said the scheme will allow bystanders to help in an emergency, saving valuable time and lives – the bandages can be used without training. 

‘With a serious haemorrhage you can bleed to death in under five minutes – time literally does save lives,’ Chivers said. ‘I knew that a solution had to be accessible and simple for the untrained public to use.

‘It made perfect sense for taxi cabs to carry the same pressure bar bandages designed for the battlefield – these bandages are routinely carried by the military and emergency services, designed to apply direct pressure to an injury stemming blood loss in those first golden minutes until help arrives.’

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, supported the scheme.

He said: ‘Black cabs are ideally placed to carry these bandages, with participating taxis able to be quickly flagged down in an emergency or drivers to pull over and help if they come across a serious incident or life-threatening situation.’

He added: ‘Cabbies often stop to assist people in distress and help keep Londoners safe when the worst happens. Now they will be better equipped to do so.’

The implementation in London follows trials across cities in the UK including Manchester, Oxford and Exeter.