Specialty Teams

Bicycle Paramedic Program
Troy Fire Department’s Bicycle Paramedic Program was started in June 1994 as a trial program to be used during special events in the community. Two paramedics staffed mountain bikes carrying: both BLS and ALS equipment, an abbreviated drug bag, intubation supplies and a cardiac monitor, split between the two bikes. Although the bicycles were owned by the riders, the fire department and local hospital furnished all other equipment.

Shortened Response Times
Use of the bike program shortened response times in crowded areas by as much as 3-5 minutes when compared to the use of golf carts and more traditional ALS units. Direct public contact was possible, and, as opposed to sitting in an ambulance, the paramedics were approached by and talked with many people. They received only positive comments on the program.

Trial Period Success
As a result of the success of the trial period, Troy Fire Department Bicycle Paramedics, now participate in many community events. Now in our eighth year, the program has increased to 15 members and five bicycles.

Bike Program Operations
When the Bike Program is working an event, we respond to calls that happen on the event site. Our way of receiving the calls vary from event to event. For larger events, I.E.: parades, large festivals, 5 & 10K runs, we are dispatched by an on-scene coordinator. For smaller events, we are paged over a public address system or notified by radio by on-scene police or other event staff. Our response times vary by event. For some events, the times can be as short as 15-30 seconds. For parades or running races, the times can be up to 2-3 minutes.

Upon arrival at the scene, we notify our primary fire station so that they can document our location and incident. Once we have started treatment, we assess the patient and call for an ambulance as soon as possible if needed.

Protocols
The Troy Fire Department Bike Program follow county protocols that are set up for all pre-hospital providers. These protocols include the use of needle cricothyrotomy, chest decompression, oral and nasal intubation, intravenous cannulation including external jugular veins, cardiac monitoring with defibrillation and cardioversion, and transcutaneous pacing.

The program currently can’t perform TCP because we carry the MRL Semi-Automatic External Defibrillator. The Bike program is intended to arrive on the scene rapidly, assess, and stabilize the patient prior to the arrival of the ambulance. Therefore carrying only the drugs that could be used in the first 5-8 minutes of our arrival is necessary. We carry the first line of drugs for chest pain, cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, diabetic, seizures or anaphylaxis.

Upon arrival of the ambulance, the bike medics would assist the ambulance personnel in patient care and the packaging of the patient. The bike medics would then restock their supplies from the ambulance stock, this includes all drugs and IV supplies. We have a regional drug bag exchange program and the bike program is covered under that.