LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Some Jefferson County Fire Service personnel will soon use bicycles to respond to emergencies where an ambulance can’t fit or in places with rough terrain like the Parklands.
The four bikes were purchased through the Neighborhood Development Fund grant money from Louisville’s Metro Council.
During the peak summer season, Jefferson County fire first responders are called to the Parklands for emergencies around twice a week. Currently, the department uses its Polaris or a four-wheeler to respond to calls throughout the Parklands’ 4,000 acres of land.
“There are several areas in the Parklands, whether it’s off-road trails or even the loop, that at times may not be as accessible with the Polaris,” Chief Nathan Mulvey with the Fern Creek Fire Department said. “The bikes allow us to divide and conquer, spread our personnel out and be in a larger area much faster.”
The bikes will also carry extra water and paramedic bags on the back so first responders can treat patients on the scene.
“They’ll be able to provide advanced care out in the park because you can’t get an ambulance back in the trail,” Chief Mulvey said.
Before getting behind the handlebars, the firefighters and paramedics will go through bike training to learn how to ride through different kinds of terrain while scanning their surroundings.
“The old thing is it’s just like riding a bike, but as you get older it’s not that simple, especially when you transition from pavement to dirt and rocks and mud, it takes a little bit of extra training to make sure everybody is comfortable,” Chief Mulvey said. “The last thing we would want is one of our people getting hurt trying to go out and help someone else.”
The department hopes to begin utilizing the bikes within 30 to 45 days or once employees have completed training.