Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 10:56 UK

Cycling paramedic begins trial in Salisbury

Pete Barrow with bike
The bike is equipped with much of the kit usually carried by ambulances

A paramedic in Salisbury has started to use a bicycle as part of a trial to get to emergencies quicker in built-up or crowded areas.

Pete Barrow will be equipped with much of the usual medical kit carried by ambulances, including a defibrillator.

He will be deployed in city and towns and large events where it is difficult for ambulance vehicles to access.

If the charity-funded experiment is a success it is hoped that a full Cycle Response Unit can be formed.

"Nowadays, with places becoming more pedestrianised, vehicles are struggling to get to the areas where people need them and we use the bike for things like this," said Mr Barrow.

He said there had been some security implications about carrying drugs on the bike.

"A lot of the cycle units around the UK have done extensive trials already and there are areas on the bike or the person where we can securely carry medicines," he added.

"We carry pretty much the same as what the vehicles would carry."

Richard Miller, clinical team leader for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: "I think it's brilliant, especially for big events and events in the city centre.

"If you've got places like the RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo) and WOMAD (music festival), this cycle will really come into its own.

"You won't be able to get a vehicle to the scene quickly, but you'll be able to cycle to that patient and get care to them in the quickest possible time."

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