Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 13:31 UK

Paramedics resort to pedal power

Paramedic on bike in Edinburgh
The paramedics will work in Edinburgh during August

Paramedics on bicycles are being introduced in Edinburgh in an effort to deal with increased demand during the city's festival season.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has added bikes to its mix of vehicles which it says will allow better access to crowded areas.

The bikes will contain life-saving kit including mini defibrillators.

The organisation said it anticipated dealing with an additional 300 emergencies in the capital in August.

An ambulance will be sent if a patient needs to be transported to hospital.

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Paramedics on how the mountain bikes beat the crowds

In a normal month paramedics in the city will respond to about 3,400 medical emergencies.

However, that figure is expected to rise to more than 3,700 throughout August.

Peter Connor, the head of the Scottish Ambulance Service in Edinburgh, said: "During the festival there are always large numbers of people out and about on the streets of the capital.

"The bicycles will allow better access to patients - particularly in pedestrian areas and parts of the city centre where road works and large gatherings might restrict access for some of our other response vehicles.

"Because of the festival, August is one of the busiest months of the year for us in Edinburgh and we have put in place additional measures to ensure that we continue to respond quickly to those that need us most."



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