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Durham Paramedics Use Bikes for Easier Access

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DURHAM — When members of Durham County's new EMS Bike Response Team take a ride, they take a lot with them: a compact cardiac monitor, a defibrillator and I.V. fluids.

It's just like an ambulance, but with only two wheels.

The concept is new, but Durham County is joining a growing list of departments locally and nationwide that are getting into the bike response business. Triangle police departments are using bikes, as well as the Chapel Hill Fire Department.

The purpose of the bicycles is for rescue workers to respond more quickly to emergencies in crowded areas.

Durham County plans to use the bikes at large events such as Durham Bulls games, Duke football games and other outdoor events.

But the spark that got the whole two-wheeled project going was the upcoming 1999 World Special Olympic Games.

"That was one of the reasons we looked to getting the bike team going," said Dawn White, a member of the Bike Response Team. "We're going to have a large number of people. They're estimating over a million people with the crowd and the participants and stuff. And we need a way to get out there and this is the perfect way to do it."

The Bike Response Team currently has 17 members.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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