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August 15, 2013
Motorcycles Saving Lives
From Utah to Israel, Emergency Responders Are Arriving Faster on Motorcycles
When something terrible happens and you need the help of an emergency responder, seconds can make the difference. But with the streets and highways of the world getting more and more congested with traffic, ambulances can be held up and prevented from reaching the scene in time. That’s why EMTs from around the world have turned to motorcycles to help them reach emergencies faster.
TEDTalks, a well-known speaker series known for showcasing modern innovators and forward thinkers, recently featured an EMT named Eli Beer. Born in Jerusalem, Beer witnessed a bus crash as a child that inspired him to become an EMT at the age of 15. After noticing that traffic was preventing ambulances from reaching emergencies, he founded United Hatzalah (United Rescue). Utilizing, “ambucycles,” motorcycles equipped with emergency equipment, Beer and his fellow EMTs are able to decrease emergency response times to just three minutes. Once they arrive at the scene, they can stabilize victims and care for them until an ambulance arrives to take them to a hospital. The ambucycles are equipped with everything an ambulance would be except a gurney. To date, the ambucycles have saved over 200,000 lives in Israel.
A similar program in Davis County, Utah has equipped its paramedics with motorcycles. Their program was inspired by another motorcycle paramedic program in Miami-Dade County, Florida that decreased its emergency response time from 15 to 3 minutes. Motorcycles help the paramedics maneuver through traffic more quickly and traverse dirt roads and bike paths with greater ease. "We can carry everything we need to treat a critical patient and a regular patient immediately, and then we have a partner that shows up in a regular SUV with full gear in the next few minutes,” explained David County Deputy Christopher Pope. Among a multitude of lifesaving gear and medical equipment, the motorcycles carry IVs, an oxygen tank, breathing tubes and pain medication. Most recently, the motorcycle paramedics saved the life of a woman having a heart attack. They bypassed the ER and had her transported straight into surgery, after which she made a complete recovery.
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