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Waco Fire's new EMS Bicycle Team rolls out for quick response in large crowds

Waco Fire's new EMS Bicycle Team rolls out for quick response in large crowds

FD Bikes

Waco firefighter Larry Denman looks over the bikes for the new EMS Bicycle Team, which will be able to provide quick response in large crowds.

The Waco Fire Department has launched an emergency medical service bicycle team to provide quick aid where larger vehicles would have difficulty reaching.

The EMS Bicycle Team will ride on four identical Cannondale Trail mountain bikes equipped with life-saving supplies, including an automated external defibrillator, oxygen and bandages. The four bikes and all the equipment to carry medical supplies cost the department less than $3,000, Fire Chief Gregory Summers said.

“We already had stuff in stock, like the AEDs, so we didn’t have to go buy that,” Summers said. “We bought the stands and the bikes themselves.”

The idea behind the new bike team is simple: be able to provide better and faster care during crowded events.

“Waco hosts numerous events throughout the year that draw very large crowds including: the Ironman, Silobration, 4th on the Brazos, Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo, Baylor football, and many others,” the city says in a press release announcing the bike service. “As a result, ambulance access to patients is limited, and requires difficult maneuvering, which can significantly increase response times.”

Time is of the essence, Summers said.

“It’s going to benefit the community greatly simply because, imagine you have a lot of tailgating at Baylor. It’s hard to get a firetruck into those areas and they will get there a lot quicker,” Summers said of the bike team. “Time is of the essence when you are talking about breathing issues and heart issues.”

The bike team will be deployed in groups of two.

In addition to scheduled events that come with large crowds, the team also will be able to deploy downtown on summer weekends and holidays that can create crowds of their own.

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Hailing from the Chicagoland area, Amaris E. Rodriguez is a 2019 graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and formerly worked the Journal & Topics news organization in Des Plains, Illinois.

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