In 2017, Magen David Adom launched its Cyclists Unit, a crew of volunteer EMTs who use electric bicycles to help shorten response time and save lives. Recently, 20 new cyclists were added to the 10-member bicycle unit in the Lachish area in southern Israel that includes Sderot and Ashdod.
The new riders underwent a course to improve riding skills and control of bicycles that emphasized adherence to traffic laws, a total ban on red light crossings, the obligation to obey traffic signs and provide right of way to and consideration for pedestrians, and more. “They participated in professional medical and safety training that included riding under varying road conditions, stability and control of weight transfer, braking, acceleration, tackling lane crossings on urban roads, and riding in the dark,” said Israel Lugasi, paramedic and head of MDA’s motorcycle and electric bicycle unit in the Lachish.
The electric bicycles are operated 24 hours a day by volunteer EMTs in parallel with MDA motorcycles, ambulances, and intensive care vehicles. Each bicycle is equipped with a resuscitation and first-aid kit and each rider is equipped with advanced protective equipment that includes a helmet, glow vest, and protection for hands and feet.
“The new riders are power multipliers who will help shorten the medical response time and save lives,” said MDA Lachish Area Director Chaim Cardi. “We will continue to work to shorten the response times for public health.”