Baltimore Bicycle Paramedics

Baltimore Bicycle Paramedics

Bicycle paramedics. What a cool idea.

In 1999, the city of Baltimore had difficulties getting ambulances to people in need at the celebrations at the Inner Harbor, where tens of thousands of people attended the event. In response, the Baltimore Fire Department established a paramedic bicycle team to help out during 11 downtown events. This team provides emergency, first response when event traffic and large crowds would delay a traditional response. Shortly after the program was launched, the unit was credited with saving a cardiac arrest patient’s life at a July 4 celebration.

According to a September 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun:

Since the Bike Team’s inception, 30 members of the department have received International Police Mountain Bike Association certification training. 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.

In the same article, EMS Lt. Mark Fletcher said

“The response times are a fraction of what they used to be at these events – sometimes less than a minute,”

Today, the Baltimore Fire Department announced they are receiving $7,125 grant to help support the agency’s paramedic bicycle team. Money will be used for portable radios. The grant is being presented by Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downes, an insurance company, and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.

Does your city have anything similar to this?

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