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A day in pictures: Melbourne's motorcycle paramedics

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June 28, 2013

Jason Learmonth tells us about his bike, his gear, and the role of a motorcycle paramedic.

Jason Learmonth tells us about his bike, his gear, and the role of a motorcycle paramedic.

Image Gallery (45 images)

Jason Learmonth is a paramedic with a difference. Instead of an ambulance, he gets around town on a motorcycle that's kitted out with almost every piece of clinical equipment an ambulance carries. It's part of a trial that's putting two of these machines on the road in Melbourne, Australia, for three years to discover whether the bike's ability to get into hard-to-reach places and move through congested traffic is useful enough to make it a permanent part of the Ambulance service. I followed Jason around for an afternoon to capture some of his extraordinary working day in pictures.

For the full story click through to the gallery. In the image captions, Jason tells us about his bike, his gear, the role of a motorcycle paramedic and a few cases we attended during the afternoon.

'A good example of a marina promenade area. It's not exactly designed for a normal vehicle...
'Our lovely lurid watermelon coloured trauma kit... It's pretty much a diagnostic bag. Thi...
'An ambulance might drive through an area looking for people waving madly. In this case it...
About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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9 Comments

I like the idea the bike can go quickly places that a van would have to creep along slowly if it could get there at all. However I would have thought that the bike would need a lot more storage space.

Tranzaps will really save lives if we ever get it to work.

Slowburn
28th June, 2013 @ 02:45 pm PDT

hey Loz, great article. Great to read the comments directly from the ambo along with some good pics.

thanks!

Gearhead
30th June, 2013 @ 07:47 pm PDT

Great idea! Our roads will only be more clogged as time goes by and a quicker response time can only help to save lives. Every motorcyclist should support this scheme.

docrob
30th June, 2013 @ 10:32 pm PDT

Sensible idea,I recall it being trialled in the states in the late 70,s where it worked well too. But the strange anti bike thing in our western societies makes it hard to make good use of motorcycles. I've lived in Melbourne for nearly 20 years now,and I can tell you it's getting harder to filter thru queued traffic-the sheep in their metal box's can't even stay anywhere near the middle of their lane,they just have to have the wing mirror hanging into the next lane.

I hope the big boss's realise the value of this trial and keep the biker paramedics who can get there fast and save lives that the guys in vans can't get too in time.

Gra

gragraposker
1st July, 2013 @ 01:25 am PDT

Sydney has had motorcycle paramedics as first responders for more than five years ...

Philip Argy
1st July, 2013 @ 07:09 am PDT

I've watched years of a show from the UK called 'Emergency Bikers' where this is used in Britain with what appears to be great success. Every town or city with traffic issues should have a few of these as 1st responders.

They really can carry (small versions of) everything an ambulance does. They just can't move a patient to a hospital. They get there ultra-fast to stabilize and assess the patient and situation, so the guys with the ambulance can more quickly relocate the patient if needed.

johnweythek
1st July, 2013 @ 09:36 am PDT

Expand this worldwide, must for ALL cities.

Stephen N Russell
1st July, 2013 @ 06:06 pm PDT

I had this same idea about 25+ years ago here in California. The only thing I would do as an improvement would be to add a mono wheel trailer to the motorcycle. With some modification the trailer could be used as a litter to evacuate an injured person, much like how persons are transported by ski rescue squads all over the world. I do however; realize that transporting someone in this matter would only be done in an absolute life or death situation. With the wireless technology we have at our disposal today, hospital staff would be able to monitor the person remotely and be in contact with the paramedic.

graywolf
2nd July, 2013 @ 10:09 am PDT

They're clock stoppers... A high visibility unit of PR proportions. Oh look at the shiny bike, going to tell another hyperventilating 23 year old that her 29'th drink for the day wasn't spiked, she's pissed, she's not short of breath, she's hyperventilating, and her palitations are due to dehydration, emotional stimulation, the two lines of speed and the 4 pills in her system.

Unless it's raining, or it's dark, or for whatever other reason they're drinking coffee while ambulances sit unmanned all over victoria

The bicycle response unit is much more effective, and crewed by a PAIR of paramedics, with a full complement of gear.

@Slaphappy

A sick patient can't safely be transported in a regular ambulance, let alone some skateboard contraption. Pull over every three minutes to give him a cc of IV adrenaline? c'mon... And hope you're well insulated if the SAED advised a DCCS

magootheknave
3rd September, 2013 @ 06:20 am PDT
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