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Bike Team Training

posted Apr 29, 2016, 2:06 PM by Jeffrey Sands, Assistant Chief 7-8B
Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Co of Newark recently held a day long training session for the members of their EMS Bike Team.

Liz Bradish, Aetna EMS Bike Team Coordinator, said that members of the EMS Bike Team patrol large scale events that have the potential of thousands of pedestrian visitors.  Some of the events Aetna EMS covers are UD football games, UD graduations, Newark Night, Newark Community Day and UD move in and move out weekends.  "Our Bike Teams afford us greater mobility through crowds.  We have quicker response times to medical incidents in areas where our ambulances would be delayed by crowds.  We also deploy our Bike Teams for patients in large rural areas such as the White Creek State Park and along the Pomeroy and James Hall Trails."

Coordinator Bradish explained that the EMS Bike Teams are made up of 2 EMT's riding Trek brand Mountain Bikes.  The Bikes are outfitted with quick release medical bags that include equipment for both medical and trauma incidents.

The training event was moderated by Mike Schusteritsch, a Mountain Bike Instructor.  Schusteritsch stated the goal of the training was to give both experienced and new bike team members basic safety techniques.  The classroom lecture covered pre-event planning, inspection of the bikes, and the loading and securing of EMS equipment.  The lecture also included tips for the rapid deployment of resources into rural areas.

Schusteritsch led the class in riding techniques for work at large crowd events.  The drills included slow speed movement through crowds, emergency turning, emergency braking, ascending and descending outside steps and personal safety for aggressive patients.  

John H. Farrell IV, spokesman for Aetna, stated that the EMS Bike Team is yet another way the fire department protects and serves the Greater Newark area.  "While providing Fire, Rescue and EMS services, we have units in each section of the fire department that provide specialized services to our residents.  Our motto is Service for Others, and our EMS Bike Team enhances our delivery of Emergency Medical Service."

Fire Chief Drew Bowerson stated he fully supports the role of the EMS Bike team, and is proud of their efforts.  He stated he looks forward to expanding the role and scope of the team.  He stated the fire department is planning ongoing training for the bike team in 2016.

Note:  the attached picture shows some of the members of the EMS Bike Team.  The picture is Aetna H, H & L Co.

Story by PIO John H. Farrell IV