Motor Medics: Firefighters navigate Daytona's Bike Week on their own motorcycles
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Traffic in Daytona Beach during Bike Week can make it tough for first responders to get to emergencies. Paramedics have come up with a creative solution to respond faster, using their own motorcycles.
"It’s a unique event that required a unique solution," said Lt. Scott Hughes with the Daytona Beach Fire Department.
The solution can put the paramedics at the scene in seconds when it can take an ambulance or fire truck up to 20 minutes to get through the traffic. "We can have the legs, the broken arms splinted up, packaged, secured," said Lt. Ryan Bigger. "As soon as the ambulance gets there, put them on the stretcher, and they can go."
This week, the motor medics say they've had anywhere from 10 to 25 calls per shift, many of them motorcycle accidents. The motor medic program was the first of its kind when it started in Daytona Beach back in 1994. Bikers at the event say they appreciate seeing the red Harleys.
"It’s wonderful," said Brett Kloutier while visiting Bike Week. "It allows them fast, easy access to the first responders, you can move through traffic quickly, whereas an ambulance, it’s like parting the sea."
While the bikes can't move patients, they're loaded up with a lot of the same gear the trucks have. They carry everything from oxygen tanks and medications to defibrillators. "We’re very proud of it," Bigger said. "It is an honor to be riding these motorcycles for our city."
The motor medics come out for other big events too, like the Daytona 500 and Biketoberfest.