Park City paramedics use dirt bikes to respond to trail emergencies
Jul 21, 2023, 6:28 PM
PARK CITY, Utah — Paramedics in Park City use dirt bikes to respond to emergencies.
When there are emergencies on these trails, search, and rescue crews have different kinds of vehicles they use, but a lot of the time they have had to respond on foot.
“When someone has an emergency on our trail, they call 911 and those coordinates are dispatched to us,” Captain Matt Provost said. “A lot of these trails are single track and they’re not accessible by UTVs.”
The Park City Fire District moto program helps the first responders race to the rescue when the clock is ticking. They said hikes with heavy equipment can take hours. This is a faster alternative.
“We want to get to our patients as quickly as possible doing the least amount of damage as possible,” Provost said.
The program has been in place for years. Around 60 members of the department participate in trainings so they are prepared when there’s an emergency.
“We have people that have never ridden a motorcycle before but are exceptionally good at EMS,” Provost said.
The district currently has five motorcycles. They’re each outfitted with lights and sirens.
“They’re a lot more user friendly, a lot easier for our personnel to ride, and we’re doing what we can to limit our environmental impact as well,” he said.
The first responders driving the bikes carry backpacks full of first aid items.
“We have an AED, we have medications to deal allergic reactions, also some Narcan…some saline, we also carry some glucose,” firefighter and moto program head, Ricky Szukala, said.
These motorbike paramedics cut response times and help patients receive care faster.
“Our motorcycle will get to the patient first, make patient contact, start patient care then from there, they’ll talk to our incident command and we’ll figure out the best route to get a side by side to the patient,” Provost said.
They said they use the trainings to educate the community on what they’re doing and how it saves lives.
“A lot of people haven’t seen us on these yet so we kind of get mixed signals initially, but once they realize who we are, they’re super happy we’re out there and they’re thankful we’re kind of hovering around them in case they get hurt,” Szukala said.