First responders on two wheels eyed by lawmakers

Here's a proposal that is particularly interesting given the need for swift emergency medical response in a time when traffic is getting worse and worse.

The solution put forth? First responders on two wheels.

House Bill 6739, spearheaded by Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr., Rep. Angelina Tan and the House committee on health, mandates that all hospitals need to provide paramedics on motorcycles to become front-line first responders in any medical emergency. The bill aims that by putting medical personnel on two wheels even more lives can be saved. 

“A trained medical emergency responder may save the life of a stroke or accident victim but because of lack or no trained medical first responder in the local levels, precious lives are lost that could have been saved,” said Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr, author of the bill.

The congressman said the motorcycle-riding paramedics could easily deal with heavy traffic either in urban areas or traverse the tougher terrain in provincial areas. The statement from the House also cited that urban traffic hampers the ability of larger ambulances to respond quickly to any emergency.

The bill states that the medical response units on two wheels need to be equipped with motorcycles that are adapted to the conditions of the areas they serve. The units will need to be fitted with standard motorcycle equipment, communications gear, medical equipment such as an automated external defibrillator, and medical supplies to stabilize patients until more equipped ambulances can arrive.

HB 6739 also mandates the qualifications for two-wheeled medical first responders such as the capability to safely operate motorcycles as well as the ability to perform the procedures expected of a paramedic such as oxygen therapy, CPR, first aid, the monitoring of vital signs, among others.

The bill also says that the riders will need to be versed in Standard First Aid, Basic Life Support, Emergency Medical Technician and Advanced Cardiac Life Support by a certified training provider of the Department of Health. The bill will also task the LTO to conduct safe motorcycle driving courses and qualification examinations for candidates.