Atlanta Fire adds more medics on bikes in preparation of Super Bowl fans at the airport
ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The world's busiest airport is about to get even busier in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. To be prepared for any medical emergencies that arise at the Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, the Atlanta Fire Department is beefing up it's Mobile Medical Response team.
All week the newest members of the bike team have been working on their endurance and bike handling skills.
"We're working 10 to 12 hours a day to get everyone trained up, today we rode 21 and a half miles," said Atlanta Fire Sgt. Mike Palmeri.
Atlanta Fire Sgt. Leon Allison was in the group.
The training is awesome. It's tough, tiresome, my legs are burning," said Sgt. Allison.
As EMT's and paramedics Sgt. Allison and the others already know how to handle medical emergencies, now they're learning how to do it on a bike. Soon they'll be responding to calls on their bikes, rolling through the airport terminals.
"We can travel between 14 to 16 miles an hour on a bike, where a golf cart is going about 7 miles an hour, so we can get to the patients much faster," said Sgt. Palmeri.
Of course, maneuvering through the crowds can be challenging.
"It can get tricky when you have a lot of people, pedestrian traffic, you have to watch out for them," said Atlanta Fire Sgt. Jelani Dunning.
The teams are equipped with packs loaded up to handle just about any medical emergency that arises inside the airport.
Sgt. Dunning showed us what he carries.
"In here I have everything that I need to initiate IV's, we carry fluids, blood pressure cuffs, and a lot more," said Sgt. Dunning.
While the medical calls keep them busy, they often switch gears, interacting with passengers and helping them in other ways.
"A lot of travelers have questions, and the biggest one is 'where do I go?' And that gives me a chance to talk to them, I can give them directions or escort them there," said Lt. Devin Gosier.
The newest members of the team are getting certified through the International Police Mountain Bicycle Association, so they'll be ready when Super Bowl fans start arriving.