Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Edgewood rejects EMS bike plan

Cost prohibitive, council says

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        EDGEWOOD — Fire Chief Joe Messmer thought putting emergency medical service personnel on mountain bikes was a good idea, but City Council on Monday gave it two flat tires.

        Council said it could not afford to spend nearly $3,000 for two bikes and uniforms.

        “It's a good program,” Chief Messmer said. “I thought it was going to go. I understand where they're coming from.”

        The EMS bikes, which would have been used at special events such as the annual Taste of Edgewood and St. Pius festivals, would have been the first in Northern Kentucky and second in the state (Louisville also has them).

        They have a defibrillator, bandages and a combi tube, which is used to open a patient's airway.

        Edgewood's police department has been using bikes on patrol for some time.

        Chief Messmer's theory: Putting an EMS technician on a bike is cheaper than having three with an ambulance.

        “The equipment they'll have, and their two hands, can save a life,” Chief Messmer said.

        Mayor John Link pumped up the idea, saying the bikes might have lured people into becoming firefighters.

        Councilman Bill Grady, meanwhile, effectively removed the valve stem from the whole plan.

        “How in the world can a guy on a bicycle, or a lady on a bicycle, give anybody any help?” Mr. Grady asked Chief Messmer. “I think you're a good guy with a bad idea.”


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