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 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.
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.
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 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. http://www.eastanglianambulance.com/...eParamedic.asp
Cannondale Bad Boy / Mercian track / BOB trailer / Moulton recumbent project
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.