Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/7/2010 (4025 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE next time you're downtown and suddenly need medical assistance, the first paramedics who rush to help may be on two wheels.
That's because instead of ambulances, several paramedics have volunteered to ride this summer on specially outfitted mountain bikes.
Civic spokeswoman Michelle Bailey said the paramedics are in their ninth year of bicycling around the city as part of the PACER (Paramedics Active in Community Education and Response) program.
"They cycle around at events including Canada Day, Dragon Boat Races, Children's Festival and the Teddy Bears' Picnic," Bailey said on Monday.
"And if they see anyone needing help or someone who is homeless and needs assistance they will help as well."
The service first began pedalling in 2002 and has been aided every year by Gooch's Bicycle and Hobby Shop on Sherbrook Street, which has donated the use of two mountain bikes as well as set-up, maintenance and service.
Each of the paramedics has wind/rain cycling jackets with the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) shoulder crests and a star of life on the chest.
Bailey said the bicyclists are far from your standard pedaler.
"These are paramedics ---- they can also be the first responders in some cases until other paramedics arrive," she said.
They work weekdays and, with the help of part time staff, they're hoping to staff the program on most weekends this summer, but Bailey said they don't operate as long as their fellow brethren in vehicles.
"For safety reasons, they don't operate the program in the dark," she said.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.