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Motorcycle medics prove useful

During a three-year trial in Victoria, Australia, motorcycle units had shorter response times for urgent cases and freed up road ambulances for less urgent calls

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Photo courtesy of Ambulance Victoria

MELBOURNE, Australia — After a three-year trial, the ambulance service covering the state of Victoria decided to make the paramedic motorcycle unit a permanent component of their fleet.

The trial found motorcycle medics have better response times than traditional ambulances. The motorcycle paramedics responded to almost 3,000 cases last year; more than 80 percent were life-threatening or urgent cases.

When a motorcycle medic is dispatched a regular ambulance follows, but the quick response of the two-wheel vehicle frees up road ambulances for other emergencies. .

“Motorcycle paramedics can quickly triage patients and cancel the stretcher ambulance if it isn’t required,” Metropolitan West Regional Manager Simon Thomson said.

The motorcycle paramedics carry a smaller version of defibrillators, trauma kits and medications. They use BMW F700GS motorcycles that are specifically designed for emergency services, and come factory fitted with warning devices, better braking systems, satellite navigation, upgraded suspension, dual batteries, and wiring already in place for all communications equipment.

The motorcycle ambulances can get through heavy traffic faster than road ambulances and can also access bike and walking paths.