Posted: Jul 08, 2014 9:36 PM EDTUpdated: Jul 08, 2014 10:49 PM EDT
By Katherine Ducharme, Reporter, 9 & 10 News, Traverse City MI
North Flight Paramedics and Traverse City Police have been patrolling The National Cherry Festival on something a little smaller than their normal vehicles -- they're using mountain bikes
With the amount of people that have been in Traverse City, using these bikes is a perfect way to maneuver through the traffic to get where they need to be.
"They're a great tool, they are very mobile, very stealthy and the officers that are on it have the arrest powers of a regular officer so it's a great tool for us to use,"said Sgt. Drzewiecki, Traverse City Police Department.
This is the week North Flight and the Traverse City Police Department use their bicycles the most for patrol.
They're a useful tool when huge crowds are in town for The National Cherry Festival, especially during events like the air show and fireworks last weekend and the parades later this week.
"In the downtown area when that traffic is grid locked those bikes can actually cover a lot of ground, sometimes faster than patrol vehicles," said Sgt. Drzewiecki.
EMS and Traverse City Police say it usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes to get to The National Cherry Festival on their mountain bikes which is a lot better than sitting through traffic.
Using the bikes is more for mobility than speed, and they have really come in handy over the years.
"It's been everything from giving a band aid to someone that needs one, to quite a few years ago we had somebody that had a heart attack and we were able to bring them back and start CPR on them and it had a really good outcome," said Joshua Salyer, a Paramedic with North Flight.
North Flight bike patrol is able to do this by having all the equipment on their bike that an ambulance would have, except for a cot.
Which is why they have a plan set, in case more help is needed from the ambulance.
"We'll get there, we'll assess the patient, we'll treat if we need to and if they do need to be transported to the hospital that's when we will find a place for the ambulance to go so we can bring the patient to them," said Salyer.