Get all your Ambulance Victoria news on Twitter
With the Tour De France over and Olympic cycling underway, 16 Ambulance Victoria paramedics completed their own ‘Tour De Yarra’.
The advanced life support and intensive care paramedics are undergoing training to join Ambulance Victoria’s Bicycle Response Unit (BRU) in the lead up to the Spring Racing Carnival, New Year’s Eve and summer dance parties.
The two-day training covers everything from negotiating through large crowds and riding in difficult areas like along the banks of the Yarra River, to the special equipment carried on the bikes.
Manager Emergency Management and Air Ambulance Paul Holman said the Bike Response Unit plays an important part at major events.
‘The Bicycle Response Unit was established as part of the Emergency Management Unit to ensure we were prepared to deal with anything in the lead up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games,’ Mr Holman said.
‘The paramedics on mountain bikes work in pairs and carry smaller versions of equipment carried on normal ambulances, including defibrillators.
‘They are able to reach people through big crowds faster than an ambulance would at events like the Spring Racing Carnival, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Anzac Day March, Melbourne Marathon, St. Kilda festival, New Year’s Eve and dance parties.’
‘If there was a major disaster such as an earthquake the mountain bikes would be able to access areas that normal ambulances can’t reach,’ Mr Holman said.
When not working with the BRU paramedics are rostered to emergency ambulances responding to ‘000’ (triple zero) calls.