East Texas Medical Center EMS will debut its new bicycle
response team this week at the East Texas State Fair in Tyler.
ETMC EMS bicycle response teams include 12 experienced
paramedics and EMTs who meet certain physical fitness standards,
possess superior cycling skills, have a positive history with ETMC
EMS and have completed training to ensure safe and efficient
"More and more EMS providers are adding bicycle medics for
events, such as the fair, for faster response times through traffic
and crowds," said Neal Franklin, ETMC EMS general manager. "The
cyclist has the ability to move around obstacles, utilize sidewalks
and navigate around people to quickly get to the injured or sick
patient. The bicycle teams will be utilized at special events, such
as concerts, races, parades and festivals, and also can be
contracted for private events. Bike teams can begin triage and
treatment as an ambulance responds to provide transport."
Each EMS bike team will be comprised of a paramedic and EMT. The
team will carry basic life support and advanced life support
equipment, as well as other supplies to respond to any emergency.
Most EMS cyclists utilize a rear rack bag to store the equipment on
"Bicycle medics will never replace the standard ambulance, but
they can greatly enhance the effectiveness of EMS operations and be
a useful tool in a complex and ever-changing society," Franklin
Bike medic teams operate in more than 200 cities across the
ETMC EMS has more than 400 paramedics and emergency medical
technicians, covering over 17,000 square miles in East Texas,
responding to 150,000 requests for service and transportation of
more than 100,000 patients each year.