Healthcare News & Insights

Forget the ambulance, bike medics becoming more common

Don’t be surprised if your emergency department opens up a bike lane.

Cities around the world are discovering that they can save money and lives by using bike-based paramedics to supplement the local ambulance service.

Take London for example: The city instituted bike medics 10 years ago as a way to more quickly reach people in areas that are difficult for ambulances to get to. The bikes carry all the same equipment as a traditional ambulance, including a lightweight defibrillator and a portable EKG monitor. The only thing missing is the stretcher.

Authorities estimate the bike medics saved 20,000 ambulance trips — as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel costs. All told, the bike medics have treated 50,000 patients — the rough equivalent of adding two extra ambulances and four paramedic staff.

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