When the crowds get larger in Eureka, members of the Eureka Fire Protection District Bike Team cover public safety in an expedient, common-sense way: on two wheels.
Bike Patrol Volunteer Coordinator Amy Goebel said the bike-fueled emergency responders can get to places and to people that ambulances can't. She said the dozen who make up Eureka's Firefighters' Bike Team are a combination of emergency medical technicians and Explorer Post 2498 firefighters, who are 14 to 17 year old participants in a program that enables them to learn about the fire district's operations and equipment, in addition to contributing time to the community.
"While on bikes, we can help with finding lost children, or quickly get to people who are hurt or sick, within large crowds of people," said Goebel.
The goal of the bike team is to provide immediate assistance until paramedics can take over, she said.
Goebel said the bike-based team has been in place in Eureka since 2008. The group typically covers five to six events each year. She recently took over the program after a former coordinator, a Eureka fire captain, retired.
She said bike team members are regularly prepped through training and meetings.
The bikes are paid for by the Eureka Fire Protection District, as well as the maintenance, such as tires and equipment.
Goebel said the largest event the bike team will assist is Eureka Days in September. "We're beginning to be more noticed. Just look for our team's green shirts when you need help in a crowd."