Bikes are perhaps the best urban transportation method. They’re quick, relatively cheap, make for healthy riders, decrease traffic and smog, and are just a plain old good time.
While I was still living in Boston a few years back, I was cruising down Boylston Street the day before the Boston Marathon. I pulled up alongside two paramedics aboard mountain bikes who were pre-riding the race course and discussing what their duties would be for crowd control during the event. I struck up a conversation with one and commented how cool I though it was that they were able to patrol by bikes. He responded that bikes were the quickest way to access people in need in a crowd and that the bikes were quite light, in spite of the 30-odd-pound portable defibrillators they each carried on board.
I was recently reminded of that encounter by a post highlighting Baltimore bicycle patamedics on Commute by Bike. The Baltimore Fire Department recently announced that their bike unit had received a portion of a $30,000 grant given to the department.
The bike unit predominantly works special events, where it would be extreemely difficult to access patients via ambulance due to crowds. in the past year, they have responded to 300 emergencies and saved the life of a person having a heart attack at a fourth of July celebration.
From the Baltimore Examiner:
Established in 1999, the paramedic bike team provides emergency-first response when event traffic and large crowds delay traditional response. In the past year, Bike Team members responded to 300 emergencies in the past year at events including: The Baltimore Marathon, Preakness Celebration, African-American Heritage Festival, Artscape, The Fells Point Festival and, most recently, the Virgin Music Festival. Shortly after the bike team program was launched, the unit saved a cardiac arrest patient’s life at a July 4 celebration on the Inner Harbor…
…They are equipped with 12 lead cardiac monitors, oxygen, advanced cardiac medications and Endotracheal intubation equipment for advanced airway maintenance. Bike Team members have the capability to control bleeding, splint fractures, establish an IV, perform patient assessments as well as sustain life in a pre-hospital setting until the arrival of a medic unit.
- Glastonbury Festival Celebrates Green Transport
- Australian Cyclists Save Millions in Health Care
- Public Transportation Could Save the World
- A Low-Car Beer: Tastes Great, Less Cars
- Vélib – Great Video of Bike Sharing in Paris