Okay, I’ve seen cops on bikes in Philly, etc. But this totally different and pretty damn cool! As reported by The Coloradoan:
Paramedics on bikes are now rolling along with races and at community festivals across Fort Collins where ambulances don’t ordinarily go.
The medics work for Poudre Valley Hospital EMS, the ambulance service serving Fort Collins and large portions of Larimer County.
Team members carry a wide variety of medications and treatments on their bikes, including defibrillators and cardiac medicine.
“We can run the first five to 10 minutes of any given call,” said Rob Collett, a paramedic and leader of the Bicycle Emergency Response Team, or BERT.
Depending on the size of the event, as many as six paid and volunteer BERT members will be on patrol. Members staffed the Horsetooth Half Marathon in April, and more recently, last month’s Blue Sky Marathon, along with other community events.
It’s all part of the ambulance service’s efforts to be out where potential patients could need help. Portions of the Blue Sky Marathon from Horsetooth Mountain Park, Collett said, are inaccessible by vehicles.
While nothing serious happened during the race, bike medics responded to a variety of calls that included twisted ankles and scrapes from falls. Collett said in the past, someone needing help during the race might have had to call 911 and wait for an ambulance to respond.
“That would have been a 10- to 15-minute drive time, and we would have to had gotten search and rescue involved,” he said.
Instead, bike medics stationed along the trail zipped out to meet the patients, he said.
“We’re there to knock down the treatment times,” he said. “The community is used to seeing bikes, and people know how to react to bikes. It enables us to have a much smaller profile, have a much smaller impact on the event, while allowing us to respond more quickly.”
Collett said members of the bike team are all avid riders themselves, and take pride in keeping themselves trained and conditioned. BERT is one of several special units the ambulance system has developed over the past several years. Medics also deploy with SWAT teams and bomb squads.
Local businesses are supporting the bike medics through discounts and grants. New Belgium Brewing, for instance, gave the team $2,000 to purchase three new bikes, which Collett picked up last week.
He said Full Cycle gave the team discounts on bikes and gear, helping stretch the grant.