Maybe the time has come for fire departments to do more than just consider using motorcycles for emergency response. This has been successfully done in europe for years and now the UK is giving it a try. Maybe it's time for us to do the same...

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is getting ready to trial a couple of firefighting motorcycle response units. (all photos by Tony Thomas).

Although motorcycles are already being used by Fire Departments throughout the world, this is the first time such a solution has been rolled out in the United Kingdom.

The 6-month trial will test two BMW RT1200 police-spec bikes that have been kitted out with two 25 liter water tanks and a 30 meter hose reel.

TCSS,
CBz

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Richard - Don't get your hopes up. Jack's no dummy and I'm sure he is quoting real numbers, not pulling them from his backside. I would like to have a look because the meta-data is often quite telling.

I deal with numbers and statistics for my day job, so I'm very curious what the numbers tell us.
Just not seeing the practicality of such an idea, not that I'm against progressive thinking, etc, but in the states you just are not going to see a need for a bike team. The little bit of extinguishing agent really isn't alot, then couple that with no SCBA, so really how much firefighting are you really going to do?

I can see and understand a use for motorcycle teams for medics, but just don't see the same thing for fire. These may work in that isolated area, say like a tunnel, but overall, not practical for widespread use.
Oh I know! Me and Jack go way back he was my first arguement when I joined FFN. As a matter of fact it was over this exact issue him dumping on vollies.I am guarenteed to get the facts when he logs back on.
The #'s are not a factor for me couldn't care less of the paid vs. vollie accident ratio it's the constant condisending remarks I always see from him.And I always promise myself that I won't get sucked into his remarks and I always do.He's good at that to.
they might be an effective alternative in high traffic areas, however, I am really skeptical to the value a motorcycle would have on the fire side

Totally concur...
Don't get me wrong, I am ALL FOR motorcycles, BUT for firefighting? I may understand for EMS side, but not fire. Besides, living in Wisconsin, the riding time is pretty short. In reality, I would like to see the numbers as to how much time you would really save. All about safety-we need to get there to be any good to the public we are serving.
Japan has been using motorcycles because of their cities but also they would beable to get around areas after a earthquake. Motorcycle teams are to be both firefighters and medics and carry the equipment on their bikes and be on the scene to assit until other units get their.
Plus there maybe areas in other countries where a cycle may get to a scene faster thats a distance from the closest station.
If the fire servcie wasn't doing it then the police would be trained to treat patients on the scene before EMS gets there.
I am in, do they come with studded tires?
I was in Daytona for Bike Week last year and snapped this pic of the Daytona Fire Motor Medics.

One bike has BLS, the other ALS gear.

They don't have fire suppression bikes though.

My new Chiefs Vehicle!
Having grown up in Europe, I can say that I think this works there because they have a lot more seat time on motorcycles. Due to cost of vehicles and the related operational cost ( Gas at $5.00 a gallon) a lot of people start at a young age with a 50 - 75 cc motorcycle to get around. So by the time they are in their mid 20's they have anywhere between 10-15 years of seat time on a bike and have moved up the ladder in the cc category as they aged.

With the U.S.A.'s love affair with the car/pickup starting at 16. motorcycles fall more into the hobby or toy category than the area of everyday transportation. I doubt that it will ever be practical here in the U.S., we will study it to death, NFPA it to death and then training school it to death. In the mean time we could have achieved the same thing by using one of the new mini-me (smart car eta) cars to much the same effect. Not that I am a big tree hugger but what better way to try out Detroit's small green car fleets that as a first response vehicle?
tell me if I'm wrong, the Euro drivers respect Emergency workers and may even yield to them... because they don't in America, not too mention, they run over cyclists too.... sorry to say, Motorcycles are a bad idea here in the USA...

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