The next time there's a medical emergency at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), help could be arriving by bicycle instead of ambulance.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) are piloting the program to speed care of sick or injured guests and employees. A majority of EMS (Emergency Medical Service) incidents don't require fire companies or rescue ambulance transportation to a hospital, so dispatching bike medics can speed the response time – they have a much easier time getting through vehicle and people traffic – while being less disruptive and more cost effective.
“When there is a call for medical help, time is of the essence,” said Pat Gannon, LAWA Deputy Executive Director for Public Safety and Security. “This new bike medic pilot program allows first responders to move quickly through crowds, assess the situation, and get to work rendering aid. Whether they are able to handle the call on their own, or they can provide care until an ambulance arrives, the bike medic program adds a new dimension to our public safety response options."
As part of the six-month pilot program that started earlier this month, two advanced life support (ALS) Cycle Teams are responding to calls mounted on Volcanic APB1x11 bicycles customized for EMS. The cycle teams are supported by an Advanced Provider Response Unit (APRU) staffed with a Nurse Practitioner and a firefighter/paramedic, all located in the LAX terminals.
The addition of the nurse practitioner and a firefighter/paramedic will allow patients to be evaluated and treated on-site for medical issues within the scope of the nurse practitioner. This will allow most travelers to continue with their flight plans instead of being transported to a hospital.