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Old 04-15-11, 05:42 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Will Ambulance Take Your Bike?

I think of this when riding solo in a remote area: If I fall and break something, call an ambulance with my cell phone, and they come and get me, will they take my bike in/on the ambulance??
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Old 04-15-11, 05:52 PM   #2
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My only experience in this realm was back in '91, ancient history. I was hit by a motorist from behind...the ambulance took me and the Police took my bike (as a service to me, not as evidence or anything).

I got released from the hospital that evening and the officers who responded to the accident came to see how I was doing and delivered my bike to me (pick your own order of priority here as this is the new upbeat me writting this response).

I imagine that police would respond to cycling accidents in rural locations also.
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Old 04-15-11, 05:57 PM   #3
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I crashed and had to call a friend to come and pick up my bike. The ambulance was not even remotely concerned about the welfare of my bike...

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Old 04-15-11, 06:28 PM   #4
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The two times that I have been involved in this type of situation (I was not the injured) a local homeowner put the bike in their garage to be picked up later. Police nor rescue squad wanted anything to do with it.
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Old 04-15-11, 07:13 PM   #5
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I've had 3 crashes where I've ended up in the emergency room in recent years. 2 times, either the ambulance or the police took my bike. The other time they wouldn't do it, but the doorman to the apartment building nearby took it in, and my wife had to go get it a few days later. Broke both wrists that time, so I wasn't picking up anything for a while, that was the first accident. The second I broke my pelvic bone, the third I needed 13 stitches to put my lip back on my face. It was really gross. (Obama had 12 stitches in his lip a day later, but he was playing basketball.)

That last accident was in November, and I've only been on the bike once since. I was more shaken up by that accident than the others, or maybe it is just the cumulative effect of all of these accidents, but I wasn't in any rush to ride again given the mostly crappy weather we've had. It's getting nice so I'm getting ready with new tires etc...
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Old 04-15-11, 07:47 PM   #6
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Going back to 2006.
Wife and I on the SRT going into the Manayunk section of Philly. Due to an error on my part I sort of knocked her off her bike. A passerby called an ambulance. Since her helmet had marks on it they knew she had hit her head. We were parked up at Valley Forge Park. So the ambulance crew loaded her and her bicycle into the ambulance for the ride up to the nearest hospital. I hammered the pedals back to VFP to the car. Then headed down to the hospital in Philly. There in the main lobby sat the wife's bike right next to the security guards desk. Once released the wife and bike went in the car for the trip home. The ambulance crew and hospital people handled this very well.
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Old 04-15-11, 08:27 PM   #7
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I had two incidents in Austin TX requiring ambulance ride to hospital. the first one my bike was taken to the local fire station and I picked it up after my emergency room visit. The second one when I woke up my bike was standing next to my bed in the hallway of emergency dept, the rooms were all full so I was parked in the hall.
The second incident I woke up long enough at the scene to asked them to haul my bike with me.
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Old 04-15-11, 09:14 PM   #8
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I never took a bike in the rig, let the RCMP handle that part, most times they put it in the trunk and took it to the hospital. We had no way to secure anything in the back so it was a safety hazard to carry anything.
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Old 04-16-11, 12:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I think of this when riding solo in a remote area: If I fall and break something, call an ambulance with my cell phone, and they come and get me, will they take my bike in/on the ambulance??
In my case when I crashed 10 years ago in front of a hospital, three nurses walking across the street on their way to their shift at the hospital dialed 911 and the fire truck came (because it was a road accident) and the paramedics put me into the ambulance and drove me across the street into the emergency entrance and admitted me. My knee was buggered and swollen. The next day I went to see a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and he inserted a needle into the joint, extracted a bunch of the fluid and said it would now heal up and told me to take it easy for a week. A week later I was walking without crutches and another week and I was on the bike again.

Oh, the bike?? One of the 3 nurses pushed my bike across the street to the emergency entrance, took my keys and locked the bike, then left the keys at the emergency desk saying "I would definitely be by to pick them up. I later thanked her when I saw her on the ward in emergency

Needless to say, my wife was not impressed with my crash, but was with the service provided.

Another time a car cut me off as it was leaving a car wash. I still remember trying to avoid him, but side-swiped him and hit his side view mirror. When my bike hit that mirror it knocked it off and it flew in an arc and landed in the parking lot... The ambulance took me, and the car-wash owner took the bike into the office where it was waiting for me later. No damage to me, but because I had a sore neck and chest from landing on the car's front windshield they took me for a check. The car insurance paid expenses and I was undamaged

Last edited by tmac100; 04-16-11 at 12:58 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-16-11, 04:12 AM   #10
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When I was taken in the ambulance, I was knocked out completely, and woke up on the way to the hospital. The cop who took the report picked up my bike. In the ER he offered to drop it off at my house, but since there was nobody there to accept it, he ended up taking it to the impound lot. What a hassle getting it back

The semi-cool thing was that when I crashed, my GPS kept running. So when I downloaded the info after getting the bike back, I was able to track the route the cop took when he followed the ambulance to the hospital, and then to the impound lot
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Old 04-16-11, 06:31 AM   #11
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The last time that I needed an ambulance I was with my (uninjured) 8 year old grandson. The ambulance took me and the grandson to the hospital and an ambulance supervisor, in a pick up truck, followed with our bicycles. My wife had someone take her to where my Element was parked and drove it to the ER. My grandson showed her how to fit both bikes into the car while I was being X-rayed.
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Old 04-16-11, 07:49 AM   #12
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Good question. Here in MA, police collect the bike for investigative purposes, if it has been involved in an actual accident with another vehicle. If there is no accident involving anything other than the bike and its rider, I'm not sure at all what the policies are.
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Old 04-16-11, 09:30 AM   #13
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As a retired fire chief, we had no policy on that matter. I would think it would depend on the inclinations of the crew, what other resources were there, and the severity of the injury. As to resources, on any road incident we would respond with an ambulance, an engine company, and most likely an officer in a car. If the injury is suspected to be severe, there will be a response from a roving paramedic car too. The PD would probably send an officer as well.

Considerations of hauling the bike in the ambulance are:
- First, there's not a lot of room in the ambulance box, and if caring for a patient with a severe injury the ambulance EMT, plus maybe a paramedic, will need all the room they can get.
- Second, once the patient is delivered to the hospital, the ambulance crew will finish their paperwork and re-stock the ambulance, then go back in service (able to respond to another call). Presuming that the hospital has no place to stash the bike, and presuming that no one there will assume responsibility for it, then the ambulance crew is not going to haul it back to the fire station - it would keep them out of service too long. What if they get another call - a heart attack or something? Are they going to just kite the bike out the back door?

I think the most likely scenario is that either the fire officer will try to put it in his car to return it to the station, or the police officer will try to do so. But it's likely that both of these vehicles may have a pretty full trunk to start with. Not sure what the cops carry, but the fire officer will likely have his turnout gear bag, plus an SCBA, plus his accountability board, plus Haz-Mat response guidebooks and directories, a hazardous atmosphere sniffer, plus all sorts of other things, which together will pretty well fill up the trunk. My last chief's car was a Ford Taurus, which, being front-wheel-drive had a pretty big trunk - roomier, I thought, than the typical Crown Vic, which, because of the Crown Vic's rear drive, had the trunk floor taken up by that stuff plus the gas tank - but I guarantee there would not be room for a bike.

If the cop can't take it, maybe they'll try to get the homeowner where the incident took place to store it? In my old response area (pretty rural) people were honest and pretty willing to help where they could. Heck, the homeowner would likely put the bike in his pickup truck and deliver it to you once you were discharged.

Last edited by tpelle; 04-16-11 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-16-11, 10:30 AM   #14
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I suspect the answer would generally be "no", since there's generally not a lot of room in an ambulance, but you might be able to convince a police officer or fireman to take it.

I base this on my first accident, several years ago, when I collided with another cyclist, flipped over my handlebars and landed on the pavement, breaking my left collarbone. My condition wasn't too bad (i.e., I was sore and couldn't raise my left arm very high, but the skin wasn't broken), but it was clear I wouldn't be riding anywhere (in addition to my injuries, I'd bent the rear derailleur bracket). The police seemed to lose interest when I told them: a) there wasn't a car involved, b) I'd hit another cyclist (and was at least 50% to blame, c) I had no lock on me, and d) my car was 10+ miles away. The good news is that the fireman were happy to take it to the hospital in their truck as they were escorting the ambulance anyway. On top of that, the guard at the hospital took VERY good care of it, making sure to release it to my friend only after I'd given him the okay (I suspect he didn't have a lot to do).
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Old 04-16-11, 11:18 AM   #15
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My EMT training was over 40 years ago so my memory might not be perfect and things may have changed somewhat since then.

I remember being told that there was a legal responsibility to secure the patients personal property. That would include a bicycle. A lot of common law is based upon what the "ordinary, reasonable, prudent" person would do. I don't think that "ORP man" would leave a $1,000 bicycle just laying on the side of the road. The posts to this point indicate a lot of variations, but none included just leaving the bike unprotected.
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Old 04-16-11, 11:45 AM   #16
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An ambulance is so specialized a vehicle where the hell would it put a bicycle?? Geeze
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Old 04-16-11, 01:51 PM   #17
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An ambulance is so specialized a vehicle where the hell would it put a bicycle?? Geeze
So read the posts above.

At least 4 different solutions have been reported none of which involved carrying the bike inside the ambulance. Bottom line, when something needs to be done most people find a way to do it and a few people find reasons why it can't be done.

Geeze
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Old 04-16-11, 08:07 PM   #18
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So read the posts above.

At least 4 different solutions have been reported none of which involved carrying the bike inside the ambulance. Bottom line, when something needs to be done most people find a way to do it and a few people find reasons why it can't be done.

Geeze
And often, they are the ones in management positions.
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Old 04-16-11, 09:19 PM   #19
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Short answer: NO!
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Old 04-17-11, 12:19 PM   #20
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I crashed in a Triathlon six years ago in N Georgia. I broke my pelvis going over a guardrail. When the ambulance came, I asked if they would take my bike and they said yes. At the hospital it was stored on the loading dock while I was treated. My doctor there was interested in buying a bike so I gave him some recommendations. Several of the doctors and nurses went out to check the bike out. They were all surprised by how light it was. I am still riding it today.
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