Feature Story                                                                                                  Thursday, June 20, 2013


Safety is No Accident

Road Safety Day gives emergency services personnel a chance to show kids their fun side

Staff/Voice photos


RCMP auxiliary constables interact with a young child during Road Safety Day last Saturday at Cottonwood Mall. Below, BCAS paramedic Terry Grange shows off his two-wheeled ambulance.


t was a great day to be a kid. There weren't any bouncy castles or water slides, but there were fire trucks, ambulances and an RCMP river boat to clamber on.


Last Saturday was Road Safety Day at Cottonwood Mall hosted by a number of different agencies and emergency services in the city.


It was also a chance for police, first responders and paramedics to have some fun with the kids.


"We're having a great time giving out stickers, and 9-1-1 magnets," said BC Ambulance Services paramedic Phil Bruce, who was volunteering his time along with 5 or 6 other paramedics.


When responders deal with emergency situations, kids can sometimes be intimidated, and Bruce, who also teaches paramedics, was glad to have the chance relax and to let the kids get to know them.


"We're here to help them and not here to harm them in any way," he told The Voice. "The kids are just interested in the colouring books and tattoos," he said laughing.


There, along with the ambulance, were mountain bikes stocked with medical equipment.


Paramedic Terry Grange is in charge of the highly mobile bike squad units.


"The squad consists of two bikes taking up a complete advanced life support unit and are used at high volume events for easy access and easy removal," he explained.


"The bikes will treat initially, and they'll pass off to the "gator" (a smaller 4-wheeled motorized truck) if they can, and the gator from there will take them out to ambulances which  take them to whatever facility is closest."


Each bike weighs about 100 lbs. and are stationed on a 24/7 basis at places like airports.


"They respond to calls inside the terminal, so it's the best way to transverse the terminal, so if somebody collapses in the terminal, the squad is sent out to it," said Grange.




According to Grange, paramedics at the airport can use secret "squirrel routes" and hidden doorways to get in and out with the patient quickly and the bicycles allow them to do that.


"They can move through the airport like that" he said with a snap of his fingers.


BCAA representative Tanya Ross was doing child safety seat inspections.


Something many parents don't know is that itís illegal to re-sell the safety seats.


"Seats can be recycled once parents are finished with them," said Ross.


There is a car seat recycling plant in Richmond called West Coast Plastic Recycling where people can drop off seats once they've stripped off the cloth, foam and metal bits. For more information, call 604-247-1664


See more photos below.


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