Electric bicycle helps pick up the pace in back country rescues

Published: Jul. 18, 2016 at 6:09 PM MDT
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The Hailey Fire Department and Wood River Fire and Rescue are testing out a new e–bike.

The electric assisted mountain bike is going to be used as another tool to assist victims in the back country.

First responders in Blaine County regularly use mountain bikes to reach victims off the beaten path.

The new e–bike rides like a regular bike, but can reach up to 21 MPH with its electric assistance.

“You know if we had a rescue back here 3 or 4 miles in, sometimes there’s several thousand feet of climbing involved. If you have a backpack on, to be able to get to the patient and administer medical care, and start that treatment before your transport teams get there, this is going to enable you to get to them quickly, asses the patient, determine what your needs are going to be, and provide a much better service with resources that we have,” said Christian Ervin, Hailey Fire Department.

“The real advantage of it is that you can get up the hill and you’re not totally exhausted when you get to your patient and you have to initiate your patient care and do your assessment,” said Rich Bauer, Captain Paramedic for Wood River Fire and Rescue.

One of the benefits of having an e-bike over a motorcycle is the fire departments are largely comprised of volunteers and they don’t always know who’s going to be on call in the case of a back country rescue.

Not everyone can ride a motorcycle, but just about everybody can ride a bike, even me.

The e–bike was paid for by the St. Luke's Wood River Foundation and the Wood River Fire and Rescue Fire Fighter's Association.