The ambulance bikes are performing well, the National Ambulance Service announced on its Facebook page at the end of last week, almost two weeks after the first live operation of the new ambulance unit. Two of the four bikes purchased are already in daily use, and nineteen patients have been treated in this way in the first days of the service.
The test period for the bicycle ambulance unit, intended for the hard-to-reach areas of Margaret Island and City Park in Budapest, started at the end of last summer, but it was only now, on May 1, 2023, that the service, currently operating with two bicycles, officially started.
So far, four ambulance bicycles have been purchased, at a cost of 3.3 million forints (EUR 8,760) each, one bought by the National Ambulance Service Foundation and three financed by the Interior Ministry.
Photo: Facebook/Országos Mentőszolgálat
The bicycle units were mainly dispatched to public announcements, and as it turned out, they were not only called out to treat various injuries, sickness, or disturbed patients. There were also cases where the callers saw someone in need of help from a car or even a boat, but in fact, no ambulance was needed.
The emergence of ambulances on bicycles is only new to Budapest; in England, they have been roaming the streets for more than 20 years, and they are common in France as well. Equipped with life-saving equipment, the cyclist unit is not a substitute for emergency vehicles but can provide rapid and professional assistance until they arrive.
Featured photo via Facebook/Országos Mentőszolgálat