Officials begin bicycle medic program at LAX to improve response times

First responders to injured travelers at Los Angeles International Airport are now available to arrive on bicycle from within the complex in an effort to reduce the number of unnecessary ambulance and fire truck calls, airport officials announced Wednesday.

The six-month trial program between Los Angeles World Airports and the Los Angeles Fire Department was begun because LAFD data show that the majority of emergency medical service incidents at LAX do not result in ambulance transports to the hospital, making the practice of routinely sending fire trucks and rescue ambulances to the airport inefficient.

Instead of always sending a truck or ambulance, two advanced life support cycle teams are now responding to calls, supported by an advanced provider response unit staffed with a nurse practitioner and a firefighter/paramedic, all located in the LAX terminals.

"This pilot program allows the LAFD to provide additional quick-response firefighter/paramedics at Los Angeles International Airport to serve the traveling public as well as the hundreds of people who work at the airport," LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said.

The ALS cycle teams will consist of two operational shifts Tuesday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., and the advanced provider response unit will be working Monday through Thursday, from 5 a.m to 3 p.m.

"With more than 200,000 passengers at LAX each day, plus the thousands of employees it takes to run the fourth-busiest airport in the world, getting appropriate medical care to sick or injured guests and workers is very important to us," Board of Airport Commissioners Vice President Valeria Velasco said. "We believe this pilot program will enhance the quality of care at the airport, a crucial part of improving the guest experience."

Copyright 2017 FOX 11 Los Angeles: Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and YouTube.