Pedal Power for Ambulance Service
South Western Ambulance Service are hoping to respond quicker to 999 calls in Weymouth town centre this summer by using a mountain bike.
The bike is fully equipped with oxygen, a cardiac defribrillator and a blue light and siren. Paramedic Matt Care will be riding it, beginning tomorrow (Friday) until the end of August.
The bicycle acts as an additional resource and can get around the crowded town centre, harbour and seafront area quicker than a traditional ambulance could.
Matt Care told Heart; " We can use pedestrian areas and shortcuts to bypass any traffic which could be a problem in Weymouth this year because of all the roadworks that has commenced now as part of the Weymouth transport package for the Olympics."
It is being used over the peak summer season as this is when the number of 999 calls considerably increase in the area due to visiting tourists. It will help overcome problems of accessibility along congested streets and pedestrianised areas.
Matt explains why he thinks the bike is a great idea, "I will be able to reach the patient whilst the call is still onto the 999 control centre. The patient doesn't lose out at all, they get the ultimate care from a paramedic just as they would if an ambulance attended."
Similar schemes already exist in other locations around the UK like London, Leeds and York. If it is successful in Weymouth, it could be used in other tourist areas such as Bournemouth.