EMS to use motorcycles, other vehicles during Cooper River Bridge Run

EMS to use motorcycles, other vehicles during Cooper River Bridge Run

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - In four days, more than 38,000 participants are expected for the 38th annual Cooper River Bridge Run.

In the weeks and months ahead, county agencies like EMS have been prepping for the large crowds, along with barriers they'll likely face because of road closures and restricted areas.

"Every part of that race is very hard to get to, unless you're standing in front of one of our teams," said Chief Don Lundy, of Charleston County EMS.

Lundy said his teams will employ paramedics on foot, in ambulances, and in traditional motor vehicles.

The Charleston agency is also one of six throughout the nation, with paramedics trained to respond using an EMS motorcycle.

"Every resource available, is on the ground for the Bridge Run, and in addition, we have to ensure that all the 911 calls, because they're not going to stop, are covered by ambulances so we can take care of those patients," Lundy said.

"The motorcycle's advantage is it can cover a great amount of mileage in a short period of time."

For the last eight years, Charleston County EMS has employed two EMS motorcycles between three paramedics.  The vehicles are paid for by a state grant, at an average cost of $23,000, before medical supplies.

District Chief Michael Johnson said EMS motorcycles are equipped with much of the same supplies as an ambulance, but in packaging that is much more compact.

Charleston County employs EMS motorcycles regularly, weather permitting, often saving a trip for an ambulance in instances that are less severe.

"When we started this project, I never imagined it would be as good as it is," added Chief Lundy.

"It really is a great asset for us to have."

Medics undergo an annual two-week training course through the Charleston County Sheriff's office before operating an EMS motorcycle.  Many also attend monthly training sessions.

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