The City Fire Department has drastically improved the response capabilities to those who enjoy the 55+ miles of City open space trails through the implementation of a new rescue program. The new E-Bike Medic Program utilizes electric pedal assist mountain bikes to increase the speed that City Paramedics can reach injured recreators, shaving critical minutes off the time between injury and treatment.
The program was made possible through a partnership with the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department, the San Luis Obispo City Firefighters Local IAFF 3523 Benevolent & Emergency Assistance (B.E.A.R.) Fund and the parents of the late Matthew Frank, also known as SLO Stringer. The Frank Family made a $25,210 donation to the B.E.A.R Fund to assist with the purchase and outfitting of four e-bikes. The B.E.A.R. Fund then donated the e-bikes to the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department to help improve the department’s response capabilities.
“I am so proud of the community partnership that has taken place to make this new program a reality,” said Fire Chief Keith Aggson. “Through generosity and a one-team approach, the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department can now shave critical minutes off what we call the golden hour, the time we strive to get trauma patients to the advanced medical care of a hospital after they’ve been injured.”
While the department recently began utilizing an off-highway vehicle, UTV-2, to expedite access and patient transport, the vehicle lacks the ability for rapid access after reaching the numerous single-track trails located in City Open Space.
“It is amazing how much faster our paramedics can reach patients on our City’s trails,” said Fire Engineer and Paramedic Ryan Mason, who led the department’s new e-bike program development. “What used to take 45 minutes to an hour to reach an injured hiker or mountain biker can now take us less than 10 minutes.”
“We are so thankful for the Generosity of the Frank Family, who made this all possible. The legacy of Matthew Frank will help serve our community for years to come,” said Local 3523 President Alec Flatos. “This donation is a great example of what community partnerships with our B.E.A.R. fund can achieve.”
Matthew Frank worked as a news stringer on the Central Coast highlighting the efforts of public safety personnel. He tragically lost his life in a vehicle accident while responding to a structure fire in the Spring of 2017. The Frank Family has utilized funding in his name to make lasting improvements for public safety agencies on the Central Coast.
Through the B.E.A.R. Fund, Local IAFF 3523 was able to outfit the bikes at cost thanks to the generosity of a local bike shop, Arts Cyclery.
The new e-bike program is one of many services the San Luis Obispo Fire Department provides to the community. For more information, please visit www.slocity.org/fire and follow the department on Twitter and Instagram.
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