Paramedic motorbike trialled in Cork city

Paramedic motorbike trialled in Cork city

National Ambulance Service paramedic, Tony Kelly (centre), flanked by members of an Garda Síochána. Picture: Kieran Minihane

A motorbike designed to save lives has been road-tested by Cork’s Emergency Response Unit.

The Emergency Motorcycle Response Unit, which is available in Dublin, was trialled in Cork city last week.

Operated by a highly trained paramedic, it responds to emergency calls dispatched by the National Emergency Operations Centre.

It allows paramedics to begin treatment and report back before an ambulance arrives.

The vehicles allow for ease of navigation, particularly in built-up areas and narrow streets.

A motorcycle ambulance’s size and performance enhances its ability to respond to medical emergencies faster than a car, van, or fire truck in heavy traffic. This can, in turn, increase survival rates for patients suffering from cardiac arrests.

The trial was carried out over a number of days. Operations manager in Cork, Kieran Henry, said they were happy with the findings.

“This is already in existence in Dublin, but we’re trying to explore if it could also be an option in Cork.

“The versatility of a motorbike unit allows it to navigate especially well through built-up areas, where there may be traffic congestion or challenges, such as narrow streets where larger vehicles can’t get through.”

The vehicle was used at a number of emergencies in Cork city last week.

“Results showed that it was very beneficial in responding to a large number of emergency calls, such as road collisions, cardiac arrests, and other medical and traumatic emergencies,” he said.

“The idea is that the paramedic can initiate treatment and report back what they need during the process.”

The trial is currently being reviewed, as a decision is made about the feasibility of the service in Cork.

Emergency Motorcycle Response Units are in existence for 20 years and have been rolled out across the world, as an initial response at road races, cycle races, and other major events where it proves difficult to negotiate an ambulance through crowds.

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