Bike Medics Take To The Streets

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"Someone call an ambulance."

Those frantic words are often heard when emergencies arise, but at big events in Lexington, that line may change to, "someone call a bike."

The Lexington Fire Department has equipped two paramedics on mountain bikes to respond to all kinds of emergencies, and the bicycle fleet will soon be expanded to eight.

The bike medics will always work in pairs with each carrying 50 pounds or more of different but essential supplies that will allow them to do almost anything they could do from an ambulance.

They'll have O2 cylinders for oxygen therapy, nebulizers for people with difficulty breathing, a defibrillator for cardiac events and everything necessary to handle diabetic situations along with a full compliment of bandages and first aid supplies.

The mountain bikes are specifically designed to cut response time at events with large crowds. Bike Medic Anthony Johnson tells 27 NEWSFIRST that UK football games are a prime example along with races and other downtown events, like the 4th of July parade.

Johnson says, "The bikes are best in those situations because we can get them in places that we couldn't get our trucks before."

The bikes should be especially helpful at events in the Kentucky Horse Park like the upcoming World Equestrian Games because they'll be less likely to scare the horses or injure people.

Shane Poynter, the other paramedic currently trained on the bikes, says, "If you're going through a crowd, you don't want to take a large ambulance in there possibly endangering other people. With these bikes, we can get in around people and hopefully cut our response time in half."

Battalion Chief Mike Gribbin says because the bikes are funded by grants, local tax payers won't be hit with yet another expense in these tough economic times.

The bike medics will be on hand at many of the Bike Lexington events going around town this weekend.

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