Bike medic program launched in Guelph

Jun 01, 2017, Guelph Mercury

Photo: A little more compact than their usual conveyance, bikes like this one will be used local paramedics in crowd situations, such as community festivals and events, to reach people in medical distress faster.

Local paramedics will now be able to get to people in distress at community events a little faster by hopping on a bike.

The Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service has launched a bike medic program meant to help paramedics provide quick responses at festivals and events.

“It’s about responding to a medical emergency as quickly as possible, and nothing moves more swiftly through a crowd than a bike,” GWPS paramedic field superintendent Joe Draper said in a news release.

In May, 10 local paramedics completed medic cyclist training and certification through the International Police Mountain Bike Association. The certification means those paramedics are trained to navigate through crowds and obstacles on bicycles to bring medical care to patients, the release said.

Draper said the bike medics will be used at special events, such as Canada Day celebrations and Ribfest at Riverside Park, and the University of Guelph’s homecoming weekend.

“Our bike medics will be able to get to patients faster through congested areas and are equipped to provide advanced medical care until an ambulance arrives on scene,” he said.

The medical equipment the bikes will carry includes an airway kit, oxygen, suction, glucometry and symptom relief kits with medications, a first aid kit, and an automatic external defibrillator.

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