GRAHAM, N.C. (WGHP) — “Fire departments are one of the first on the scene, so the majority of the time when a medical call is dispatched, fire departments are the first people there,” Graham Fire Captain Jason Moore said.
That’s why the Graham Fire Department is launching a new program called B.E.R.T.
It’s the Bicycle Emergency Response Team.
The team will be used for events around the city like parades, festivals and concerts.
The crew will be made up of two medical personnel who will respond to medical emergencies at these types of events,
“So anytime there is a festival you will be seeing two people out and about. They will be identified by bright yellow colors, reflective for safety, and for accountability so people can see us,” Moore said.
Moore says the bikes are critical in speeding up response time for medical emergencies in crowded areas. Firefighters will be able to weave in and out of traffic in places firetrucks may be restricted.
“That gives us the ability to get there a lot quicker, a lot faster, without having to get an apparatus out to those areas,” Moore said.
The fire department got bikes from the Graham Police Department, which had a bike program years ago.
The total cost of the program is just $300.
Moore says other than being eco-friendly and cost-efficient the program also helps with outreach.
“Being able to put a face to the departments saying, hey we’re here, and have questions, not only if you’re hurt but for fire prevention. Reaching out to the community in ways that are easily accessible,” Moore said.
You can see the bike medics for their first event Saturday, Sept. 11, at the 9/11 Commemorative 5k event.
The department also has plans to expand its fleet once they see success from the program. They are looking to add two more bikes.