Commuting - Bike paramedics?
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Anyone ever heard of em? It seems to me that a basic emergency aid kit can fit in a large messenger bag complete with defribulator. And it sure as hell is faster to get around large crowded cities by bike than anything else. Someone on bike can probably get there in half the time during rush hour to give first aid before the ambulance arrives.
I'd worry about how sanitary it is...
We have them at some of our Summer Festivals here in the Lehigh Valley. I have never seen them giving aid to someone but I have seen them riding around at the various events.
01-14-05, 03:13 PM
Check this page out: http://www.denverems.org/atmu.html
Just one of many googled, but I remembered them as being very well supported.
01-14-05, 03:47 PM
I could see them being first responders but only in cities where traffic density is such that it slows ambulances en route. However ambulances depend on their ability to flaunt traffic laws and do so by virtue of their bulk, their ridiculous amounts of lights, and their sirens. Even then they get into a serious number of accidents. A bike paramedic would have none of those advantages and would be more vulnerable in an accident to boot. I think you'd see a lot of injured or killed bike parademics personally.
I saw some in canada, who worked wiht the cops in Canada.
01-14-05, 04:31 PM
i saw them at the NYC Cycling Championships last year. they would ride off to the side and help whoever took a spill. seemed like a pretty good idea.
I occasionally carry a first aid kit for such things. Haven't had to use yet, on me or anyone else :woodknock:
For personal use, I'd recommend one of these. (http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/military/level4.tam?xax=4716&pagenumber%2Eptx=1&M5COPY%2Ectx=25229&M5%2Ectx=3554&M2%5FDESC%2Ectx=First%20Aid%20%2D%20Kits%2C%20Accessories%2C%20Components%2C%20Repellants&level3%2Ectx=level3%2Etam&backto=%2Fmilitary%2Flevel3%2Etam)
01-14-05, 04:56 PM
I've seen pictures and read about them in some cities. USA and England.
Response time might be better but transporting the patient to the hospital would be fun to watch. :)
01-14-05, 07:51 PM
I looked and it seems like the existing bike paramedics are special event responders where you can't get an ambulance in, not routine EMTs.
Saw them in England.
I would love to have a look at the equipment in their panniers. They look very well equipped. I guess they could even keep an AED in there.
Good for quick hits in crowded areas...or MTB trails!
They are down at the beach in the summer, mostly for high attendece, special events. Most ride Cannondale, or Trek mountian bikes with panniers and rack trunks.
01-14-05, 09:34 PM
We have them in Houston. We have some downtown festivals and concerts where half a million people may crowd into an area about six blocks long, and three blocks wide. Just walking fifty yards can be a major effort. During the Super Bowl, the Bike paramedics were able to get into jam-packed areas where it would have taken thirty minutes or more to get in a motor vehicle.
And, one of the things they could do is figure out WHO actually needed a motor vehicle. The difference between "dead" and "dead drunk" can sometimes require an expert opinion.
Likewise, we have about five teams of "bike police" downtown (City of Houston police, Sheriff's Office, Constable's Office, Transit Police, Univ. Houston Downtown police). They can get to problem areas almost instantly, and silently, coming up on suspects by surprise. And, downtown motorists are now MUCH more polite to ALL cyclists, because such a high percentage of downtown cyclists turn out to be police officers.
Main Street in Houston was not safe for a female pedestrian ten years ago, even at lunch time. Thanks to the bike patrols, the thugs are gone from Main Street. You can take your grandma downtown to relax at a sidewalk cafe. And, a $600 bike is a bit cheaper to run than a $20,000 Crown Victoria patrol car.
01-14-05, 10:27 PM
We've got them in Fremont, Ca. My club did a Show&Go ride to the July 4th parade this year, and we saw them. Two of them came to one of our meetings and did a presentation. They are used at parades, and festivals. They always work as a team of two, at least two pairs per event. There is actually a national organization they comply with. Their practice routines involve going around, over, and through all kinds of obstacles and tight places. If there is a call during an event, they can beat the ambulance or regular vehicle bound paramedics to the site by as much as 10-15 minutes. They purchased specially made bags for their bikes, but the guy that made them has since retired, so they're very careful about damaging them.
Well the reason why I'm wondering is, I've sometimes chased ambulances around through traffic and often I can beat it to the end of the block. In that situation, I'm wondering if someone could get to a heart attack victim with a defrib or something 2-3 minutes sooner, they could save a life.
I looked and it seems like the existing bike paramedics are special event responders where you can't get an ambulance in...
That's exactly what Boston EMS uses bikes for (Marathon, pledge walks etc.). Photo half way down the page http://www.bostonems.com/opspec.html.
01-15-05, 05:00 AM
I see three of them in my city. They carry 2 Ortleib style panniers full of kit, and have flashing lights. The bikes are front sus (Trek?) MTBs.
I live in a place with a very compact, ancient street layout. In the central zone, they can be anywhere within 2 mins and keep a patient (eg heart attack) alive whilst the ambulance arrives, maybe 20mins later.
We have them at events, but they don't normally just wander the streets of Chicago.
01-15-05, 11:19 AM
I'm an EMT (Emergency Meedical Technician; we have very few Paramedics in my state.) I ride a bike. I'm a biking EMT! :)
Unfortunately, I usually don't carry many medical suppliews on my bike.
However, you can find many articles like this one:
And for a while I was subscribed to a email list for bicycle medics.
They're great for large crowds where an ambulance would have trouble getting through quickly.
01-15-05, 05:48 PM
this would be good for a college/university campus.
01-17-05, 02:49 PM
alanbikehouston. "And, a $600 bike is a bit cheaper to run than a $20,000 Crown Victoria patrol car."
Not to mention all the money they could save hooking up dyno-hubs to the defribilator. "1/2/3 Clear!-oh wait, I gotta ride around the block one more time."
01-18-05, 06:51 AM
In central London (tight, twisty narrow roads clogged with illegal parkers and peds) we have a team of 'em as first response. They're well-liked and effective: nothing else can get through the traffic.
01-18-05, 07:00 AM
Here's a pic of a paramedics ride at the CMWC in Seattle 03, you can just make out the ride behind the Pink Boa Bike from DC. It's got a built in stretcher.
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