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Centertown firefighters turn to bikes
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After getting a luke-warm response from county officials, a medical and rescue bicycle team has found a home at Centertown Volunteer Fire Department.
“The department’s board of directors voted to fund it,” said Centertown Capt. Clyde Prater. “We think it will be well worth it.”
The medical and rescue bicycle team presently consists of two bicycles and four volunteers. They hope to expand it soon.
Centertown Lt. Joey Clark, who is also a paramedic, says the unit is important because the bicycle patrol can go places where regular vehicles cannot. That ability, Clark noted, allows them to respond to a patient faster in certain situations.
The unit was used at the recent Warren County A&L Fair.
“We were able to do lost child searches and we also figured out the bikes can be useful for clearing crowds to get the Gator through after they pick up a patient,” Clark said.
McMinnville City Police Department already has a mounted bike patrol that works security and crowd control at community events like the Autumn Street Fair, the Dr Pepper Fireworks Show and Back to the Strip Night. The city’s police unit has even made DUI arrests during its bicycle patrols.
Clark said the Centertown bicycle unit will be utilized in the same way except in their case their usefulness will be in search and rescue and medical first-response. Most recently, the bike unit was on display at the Centertown Fall Festival.
Clark had pitched the idea to members of the Warren County Commission, but was met with a tepid response prompting him to take the plan before the volunteer fire department where he is a member.