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When saving people’s life, every second is important and might be critical. magen David Adom (MD), Israel’s national rescue organization, has recently inaugurated a new on-call unit – the Life Saver Cyclers. Electric bicycles, the first of its kind life saving vehicle, now join the fleet of ambulances, intensive care vehicles, helicopters, motorcycles, ORVs, and Segway. It is expected that some 1,000 electric bicycles will be operative until mid-2017.

“The unit is manned by MDA volunteers, and is designed to supply rapid response in crowded places where ambulances or motorcycles can hardly reach, e.g. a promenade, markets, Jerusalem’s old city alleys, etc. We train our volunteers in safe emergency driving”, said Yifath Levi, from the MDA Operations Wing.

The MDA allocates large resources in order to cut the time of response in any possible way. The response time at the 101 call center has been cut to four seconds, a new project was established, Devoted to Life, and new transportation means were recruited to give suitable solution to any scenario.

The new unit includes MDA volunteers with a driving license, adults and youth. The volunteers receive special training in order to upgrade the time of response. At the same time, they are required to pass a professional educational program that focuses on laws and limitations, including the 25 km per hour speed limit. They are obliged to wear a helmet, knee pads and a safety vest.

The bicycles, equipped with resuscitation equipment, will serve as a first response force in parallel to the other units. They will be sent to incidents within 10 km, while the ride is not considered operational. The volunteers are called by a Mirs device connected to the MDA 24/7 call center. They arrive at the scene, give first aid and supply a first evaluation of the wounded.

The first pilot project was in the greater Tel Aviv area, mainly the light train area, where there has emerged the need for more accessible means of transportation, the Bat Yam promenade, the Petah Tikva market and more.

MDA General Director Eli Bin said: “MDA has a vast array of life saving vehicles, adapted to the various conditions and arenas. We decided to add the electric bicycles, a first of its kind means for saving lives in order to further cut the response time. I have no doubt that the new unit which includes MDA’s best volunteers would contribute to life saving missions”.