Paramedics Ditch Ambulances for Bikes This Holiday Season

They're preparing for the influx of shoppers


 
 

Simon Gaskell, South Wales Echo | | Friday, December 7, 2012


CARDIFF, South Wales -- Paramedics are using pedal power to save lives in Cardiff this Christmas - after switching to their bikes for city centre medical emergencies. The Welsh Ambulance Service is teaming up with St John Wales to pilot a First Responder Cyclist (FRC) scheme to prepare for the influx of shoppers and revellers flocking to the city during the next month.

After beginning last weekend, the scheme will see FRCs use mountain bikes to cover the city's streets, pedestrian precincts and shopping arcades.

Each of the cycling FRCs will be equipped with a mini defibrillator and a resuscitation kit.

But, as in all call-outs for Community First Responders dispatched by the ambulance service, an emergency ambulance or rapid response vehicle will also be on hand.

Bob Tooby, the Ambulance Trust's head of service for the Cardiff and Vale area, said the scheme means paramedics can get to emergencies in pedestrianised areas which ambulances often find more difficult to access.

He said: "The main advantage of this scheme is that the cyclists will be able to weave their way through traffic and pedestrians and get to a patient's side quickly, even if they're in one of the arcades or in a large store." Keith Dunn, chief executive of St John Wales, said: "This is another great example of St John working in partnership with the Welsh Ambulance Service to benefit the wider community.

"This new pilot scheme will ensure people in Cardiff receive lifesaving treatment quickly and effectively and we're really pleased to be involved."

Cycling lifesavers will be in contact with the ambulance control through their mobile phones, and the scheme will run on a shift basis.

The service has more than 1,000 Community First Responders across the country who are trained to provide an immediate response to patients in their communities.

The novel idea originated in London, where 60 ambulance staff are employed as part of a similar scheme.

Paramedic Tom Lynch - a British and European BMX champion as a youngster - was sitting in traffic in his ambulance responding to an emergency call-out when the thought of combining his two passions occurred to him.

He said: "I thought I could do this quicker on my bike.

"When I got back to the station and started talking about it, everyone just laughed at me, but I knew I could do the job on my bike because of my previous history."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, bike paramedics

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC September 11 Commemoration

Tolling of the bell begins the anniversary ceremony.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Wrong Fuel Cited in New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

Plane received jet fuel instead of aviation fuel.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Wake County EMS PAT

Physical ability test demonstration.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >