Tampa Airport puts paramedics on bikes

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You might see something a little surprising the next time you visit Tampa International Airport: Their paramedics now have pedals.

The airport has expanded the Fire Rescue Division to include 25 bicycle paramedics patrolling the terminals. These paramedics can reach their patients within seconds or a minute anywhere within the terminal and can handle any medical emergency an ambulance can handle.

“These are people’s lives that we are dealing with, hands-on,” offered Lt. Roger Picard of Tampa Fire Rescue’s Airport Fire Rescue Division.  “And if I can come there and help them in a quick manner, with the support of this aviation authority and fire rescue group -- and do that in 30 seconds or a minute -- you’ve made my day and theirs.” 

The program started in 2016 and the overall response has been great. Most people are surprised to see them riding bikes in the terminal, but love the excellent response times. 

Tampa Fire Rescue expects to expand the program over time as the airport expands.