TWO WHEELS: Medic Bike program ensures faster emergency response

COLUMBIA CITY —Two bikes carrying medics could be seen tracking through the 4-H Whitley County Fair this year, as Parkview Whitley Hospital took extra steps to stay on top of medical emergencies.The two bikes, owned by the hospital, were part of a Bike Medic program.According to Andy Grote with Parkview, who came up with the idea last winter and saw it approved in March, this is the first year for the program.“It’s a quicker aid for people in need,” said Grote. “The bikes are fully stocked, and we carry just as much stuff on an ambulance.”For an event such as the fair, Grote said there is generally an EMS base located on the fairgrounds, but having the bikes better allows medics to come to meet the problem with a quick response time.“We start to patrol and ride around the fair,” said Grote.“Every couple hours we make our rounds so people know we are there."While Grote said there were no major emergencies at the Whitley County 4-H Fair this year, the bikes already paid off when they used them during Turtle Days.“We had a cardiac arrest at Turtle Days, and our response was great,” said Grote.“We were the first ones there.”