Cambridge: Ambulance Bicycle
11 January 2012, 06:00
A bicycle ambulance, which is on trial in Cambridge, is likely to be permanently based there.
The yellow and green mountain bike, which has medical equipment strapped to the back, was launched in October last year.
Since then, paramedics that use it have been called out to 228 emergency calls.
The paramedic on the bike has been able to handle around 50% of all of these calls without calling for back-up from a regular ambulance.
The bicycle ambulance responds to all 999 calls in the centre of Cambridge.
Since October 2010, it has responded to incidents including car crashes, heart attacks, accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians, people fainting and falling over.
The idea behind the ambulance bike is that it reduces the pressure on regular ambulances, which are freed up to respond quicker to emergency calls which are further afield.
It was initially set up as a three month trial, but Heart has learnt the trial is likely to be made permanent later this year.
Darren Rutterford, from the East of England Ambulance Service, said: "The bike is working well in Cambridge, particularly around places like the Grafton and Grand Arcade shopping centres which are notoriously difficult for vehicles to get access to.
At the moment the bike is performing and pulling its weight, and so if that continues there is no reason why we won't see it on Cambridge's streets every day."
An extension of the bicycle trial will run until April, when it's expected it will become a permanent feature of life in Cambridge.