ARLINGTON, Va. - An idea in Arlington County to reduce first responders' response time to injured patients by using motorcycles is creating a lot of buzz. This proposal is still in the early stages, but it is already up and running in some other cities and could be coming to this county soon.
“This has certainly been a hot button topic,” said Noah Simon, the chair of the Arlington County Fire Station 8 Task Force.
Paramedics on motorcycles are already operating in Austin, Texas and across the pond in London.
Under the plan, these motorcycle-riding paramedics would travel with some type of first aid emergency kit.
"It's certainly an interesting idea as Arlington moves from a more suburban to urban area,” said Simon.
Simon is leading the task force that just introduced the idea. The newly-created group includes residents and first responders.
“The whole idea is how can we improve response time for residents that live in the northern part of the county,” he said.
Having EMS motorcycle units is just one of three ideas to get county residents help fast in an emergency.
“The problem is they couldn't help whoever,” said Arlington County resident Alan Friedlander.
“They wouldn't have all the equipment – they wouldn’t have oxygen, IV hookups and everything else,” said Wendy Friedlander. “They could come out and evaluate whether they need to send another piece of equipment, but that is another delay. Sometimes, minutes are lives loss.”
Alan Friedlander has needed an ambulance three times in the last four months alone. He is against the idea while Wendy was a little more open to it by saying, “Give it a try and see if it works. See if it benefits the community and them by saving them money.”
FOX 5 has learned other ideas include expanding the historic Fire Station 8 or moving it further north.
The task force is meeting every other Thursday and they have three meetings remaining. They will discuss the proposal this Thursday and then write their report and submit their recommendation to the county board at the end of next month.
The county could make a decision as soon as July.