Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Utilization of Bicycles in the Delivery of Emergency Medical Services: A Preliminary Report

  • John F. Gorham (a1) and Todd S. Kramer (a2)

Abstract

Introduction:

Bicycles may be useful in the delivery of out-of-hospital emergency medical services. The use of bicycles in providing emergency medical services was investigated by surveying currently existing bicycle-medic systems.

Methods:

Two questionnaires were developed to gain information on service areas, injuries, gear used, missions, and specific data from bicycle-medic response.

Results:

Of 210 surveys mailed to bicyclemedics, 21 (10%) were completed and returned by the pre-established deadline. Of 11 surveys mailed to bicycle-medic supervisors, four (36%) were returned. Preliminary results showed that 76% of respondents are career providers and the remainder serve as volunteers. Mean age for respondents was 33±7.4 years, with 96% being males. Most teams have been in existence for three to four years. Job satisfaction was greater when participating on the bicycle crews than when not performing on the bicycle crew, t = 4.15, p = 0.0002. The teams varied in size (6–100 persons) with a mean value of 31. On the average, team size represented 10% of total number of personnel for the respective organizations.

The majority of bicycle teams operate all year in all conditions. Most bicycle-medic teams were initiated for special events. Nineteen percent reported injuries while on duty or in training. Ninety percent of units that responded use existing agency protocols and have no special protocols related to the bicycle team. Eighty percent of the units are dispatched through the normal agency procedures. Eighty-five percent of respondents coordinate for transport units via dispatch. Reported response times were under two minutes for special event responses. These were within established agency response times. In approximately 25% of the responses, the patients refused transport, and another 65% of the responses were for relatively minor injuries or complaints that did not require transport to a hospital.

Conclusion:

This survey begins to characterize the utilization of bicycles as a tool to gain patient access in specialized situations. The use of bicycle-medics may be cost-effective, may help to improve employee morale, and possibly reduce employee health-care costs. Further study is needed to determine the impact of bicycle-medics on patient outcomes and response times.

Copyright

Corresponding author

6632 Commodore Ct., New Market, Maryland, 21774 USA, E-mail: jgorham@usuhs.mil

References

Hide All
1.Gunderson, M, Hare, C: Traditional vs. clinically oriented response time definitions. Journal of Emergency Medicine 1995;20. Abstract 95–018.
2.Cone, DC, Kim, DT, Davidson, SJ: Patient initiated refusals of prehospital care: Ambulance call report documentation, patient outcome, and on-line medical command. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 1995;10:2228.
3. Staff: Technology and the police: on your bike. Economist 1993;329:28.
4.Cash, C: An entertaining brand of EMS. Journal of Emergency Medicine 1994;19:48. Supplement 6.
5.Ounanian, LL, Salinas, C, Shear, CL, Rodney, WM: Medical care at the 1982 US festival. Ann Emerg Med 1986;15:520527.
6.Campbell, T: Bike-riding medics get big chance. Richmond Times-Dispatch 1993.
7.Injury control recommendations: Bicycle helmets. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995, 44:RR–1.
8.Loughrin, S: 9-1-1 Bike. Sweat March 1995:67.
9.Zukowski, S: Paceline. Bicycling 1995;36:23. Abstract.
10.Federiuk, CS, O'Brian, K, Jui, J, Schmidt, TA: Job satisfaction of paramedics: Effects of gender and type of agency. Ann Emerg Med 1993;22:657662.
11.Sanders, AB, Criss, E, Steckl, P, Meislin, HW: An analysis of medical care at mass gatherings. Ann Emerg Med 1986;15:515519.
12.Chaou-Shune, L, Hang, C: A method to reduce response times in prehospital care: The experience of motorcycle ambulance. Journal of Emergency Medicine 1995;20. Abstract 95–023.
13.Fisher, L: 1994 Commonwealth Games Final Report. Victoria; British Columbia Ambulance Service 1994:110.
14.Lofthouse, G: Traumatic injuries to extremities and thorax. Clinics in Sports Medicine 1994;13:113.
15.Tucci, JJ, Barone, JE: A study of urban bicycling accidents. American Journal of Sports Medicine 1988;16:181187.
16.Dondo, C: To protect and swerve. Mountain Bike 1994;10:7584.
17.Gershon, RM, Vlahov, P, Kelen, G et al. : Review of accidents/injuries among emergency medical services workers in Baltimore, MD. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 1995;10:3337.
18.Montalto, NJ,Janan, TB: Medical coverage of recreational cycling events. Clinics in Sports Medicine 1994;13:249257.
19.Fisher, L: Paramedic Bicycle Squad: Report on the Trial Period. Victoria; British Columbia Ambulance Service, 1992.
20.Mosesso, V: Quality assurance for urban EMS. In: Swor, R (ed), NAEMSP: Quality Management in Prehospital Care. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.
21.Lucia, J: Pedelmedics. Rescue 1992;5:710.
22.Cadigan, RT, Bugarin, CE: Predicting demand for emergency ambulance service. Ann Emerg Med 1989;18:618621.
23.Blaul, R, Van Stralen, D, Grubb, R, Perkin, R: Paramedic first responders in a two tiered system increase cancellations of second units responding to basic calls. Journal of Emergency Medical Services 1995;20:3. Abstract.
24.Chow, TK, Bracker, MD, Patrick, K: Acute injuries from mountain biking. West Med 1993;159:145148.
25.Injury control recommendations: Bicycle helmets. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995, 44:RR–1.

Keywords

The Utilization of Bicycles in the Delivery of Emergency Medical Services: A Preliminary Report

  • John F. Gorham (a1) and Todd S. Kramer (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed