The Downers Grove Fire Department recently added five members to its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Bike Medic program. Downers Grove was the first fire department in the State of Illinois to start a bike medic team in the early 1990s. Through the years, the program has provided support for heavily attended local events such as Rotary Fest, the Bike Criterium, and the Bonfield 5K, with a team of two paramedics on specially equipped bikes.
The department owns four of the bikes, each equipped with Advanced Life Support equipment. Two of the bikes are used for primary response, and two are kept in reserve. These bikes, which carry approximately 30 pounds of equipment and medications, allow the paramedics to get through large crowds quickly and administer care. They provide Basic First Aid up to Advanced Life Support prior to the arrival of an ambulance.
The Downers Grove Fire Department Bike Medics are all certified paramedics. Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Magee conducted a 32-hour International Police Mountain Bike Association EMS cyclist class in July. The class covers bicycle anatomy and the physics involved, bicycle repair, emergency stopping, and slow speed maneuvering. Team members participated through classroom lectures, realistic bike drills, along with written and practical tests.