RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships only months away, medics are learning how to respond to emergencies not in ambulances, but on bicycles.
When dense crowds fill the city for nine days in September, Richmond Ambulance Authority says bikes will be able to move more quickly than ambulances. RAA recently completed a five-day training course to get medics ready.
They will have to carry up to 40 pounds of medical supplies on their bikes and navigate through thousands of moving people. In order to join the bike medic unit, paramedics must undergo hours of pedaling, shifting gears, and weaving through cones.
“It really taught you how to stay balanced while going slowly enough so you can avoid things you didn’t see coming, like when a person steps out in front of you,” said Eleanor Ismail, one of about ten paramedics who completed the course in May.
The racing events will be from September 19-27. More than 450,000 spectators from near and far are expected to attend.