PROSPERITY — In order to increase services within the community, the Prosperity Rescue Squad is implementing a new bicycle team to ensure residents get the best coverage possible when they are in need.
“One of the things that we have looked at time and time again, when it comes to festivals we have in and around Prosperity, is that we generally have a high influx of people. When you have that kind of congestion it can get difficult to get to and from, so in order to get to those people quickly, we identified that there was a need and we decided to utilize a bicycle team,” said Glenn Hamm, Prosperity Rescue Squad chief.
He added that many other counties have successfully utilized bicycle teams for events and festivals.
“It is a very inexpensive way to provide quality service to the citizens. It’s less than a $500 investment to put two people on bicycles and in return we can go out there and provide that critical care for these people, so we’re excited about that,” he said.
The bicycles are equipped with medical saddlebags which will be able to hold all medical equipment and fits on the rear of the bicycle.
“From a medical standpoint, in a critical care situation minutes, and oftentimes seconds, matter and when we are able to get there more quickly, spread our team out and work across the area it means we will be able to provide a high level of medical care in a quicker manner,” Hamm said.
He added that if a call is received, whether small or significant, the ambulance would already be making its way towards the scene and in crowded situations the bicycle team would more than likely arrive before the ambulance. He said that while the team is waiting on the ambulance, responders can initiate care and have a good patient report to give to the ambulance to take advanced action.
“It is a little different, but I think it’s going to have a really good effect on the community,” he said.
About five or six volunteers have shown interest in the bicycle team so far. From there, the volunteers will go through bicycle training that will review safety guidelines and rules and laws of the road when it comes to operating a bicycle.
“It’s the little things that can make something go terribly wrong and while riding a bicycle may seem like common sense, we cannot open ourselves up to any risks or liability by operating this thing. My job as a chief and the job of my officers is to minimize and eliminate risks by ensuring that standards are followed, training is in place, that our equipment is up to speed and that our people are aware of everything that is going on,” Hamm said.
Hamm added that he hopes the bicycle team will be seen as a resource for not just Prosperity Rescue, but other Rescue Squads across the county.
“We love working with the fellow Rescue Squads in Newberry County. We are one team with one mission and that is serving the citizens of Newberry County. We have a really good working relationship amongst the chiefs and if there’s any time we can provide a resource to another department we offer it out there, and there are many times when we need a resource that another department has. It’s a great working relationship across the county,” he said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.