History of the CCEMS Bike Medic Response Team

The Cypress Creek EMS Bike Team was the first of its kind in Southeast Texas and one of the first EMS bike teams in the country. It was founded in 1996 by a group of staff and volunteer members with a passion for cycling and a drive to create a unique unit to serve the community.  With big ideas and essentially no budget, the members set out to build a team that could support local community events.  The initial small team of members solicited local business for funds to purchase the first bikes for the team and often personally funded much of the early equipment out of their own pockets.  The use of bikes by police departments had been around for years and had proven effective in many communities, but the use of bikes by Fire and EMS agencies was in its infancy.  The early team members were true innovators as they adapted their medical knowledge and equipment to deliver prehospital medicine in a totally new way – from the back of a bicycle.  Within months, the team was providing rapid response to emergencies during special events throughout the community.

CCEMS Bike Medic Response Team

CCEMS and IPMBA

The concept of providing advanced level prehospital care and rapid responses to large, congested community events has proven effective beyond the original team member’s expectations.  The early success of the team provided opportunities for the unit to grow and by 1998, the team decided that more training was needed to improve bike handling skills for the safety of everyone.  After evaluating several programs that had proven successful with police departments around the country, the early members joined the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) and began the process of certifying all the team members according to IPMBA standards.  The early course was designed around law enforcement procedures, but at its core was a solid foundation of bike handling skills unique to riding as a public safety cyclist.  The first supervisor of the CCEMS bike team became actively involved with IPMBA and worked with other members to adapt the police cyclist course to meet the unique needs of the medical responders and with that, the EMS Cyclist Course was created.

By 2005, the team had achieved much success and with it the need to grow.  Several members were sent to the IPMBA conference to attend an instructor’s course; with the intent of coming back and teaching the IPMBA EMS Cyclist Course in-house to our members in the future.  This concept again was successful beyond our expectations due to the growth in the number of agencies that were looking to develop similar cycling teams within their organizations.  Over the next several years, CCEMS was teaching two to three classes annually and expanded the training to include police and EMS cyclists from all over the state.  With this increased training demand, we continued to develop our team members and certify new instructors every few years.

Over the next 10 years, Cypress Creek EMS increased its commitment to the success of IPMBA and the use of EMS cyclist.  Currently, CCEMS Assistant Executive Director Wren Nealy serves as president of IPMBA. In addition, two CCEMS members serve on the Board of Directors and eight team members are certified as IPMBA instructors or instructor trainers.  All of our instructors actively attend the annual IPMBA conference and teach regionally and nationally.

Cypress Creek EMS was instrumental in integrating medical personnel into the Bicycle Response Team Training curriculum to support law enforcement on the front lines of crowd control situations.  This new curriculum has become the standard for bike team deployment nationally.

Team Growth

By 2005, the team had achieved much success and with it the need to grow.  Several members were sent to the IPMBA conference to attend an instructor’s course; with the intent of coming back and teaching the IPMBA EMS Cyclist Course in-house to our members in the future.  This concept again was successful beyond our expectations due to the growth in the number of agencies that were looking to develop similar cycling teams within their organizations.  Over the next several years, CCEMS was teaching two to three classes annually and expanded the training to include police and EMS cyclists from all over the state.  With this increased training demand, we continued to develop our team members and certify new instructors every few years.

Over the next 10 years, Cypress Creek EMS increased its commitment to the success of IPMBA and the use of EMS cyclist.  Currently, CCEMS Assistant Executive Director Wren Nealy serves as president of IPMBA. In addition, two CCEMS members serve on the Board of Directors and eight team members are certified as IPMBA instructors or instructor trainers.  All of our instructors actively attend the annual IPMBA conference and teach regionally and nationally.

Cypress Creek EMS was instrumental in integrating medical personnel into the Bicycle Response Team Training curriculum to support law enforcement on the front lines of crowd control situations.  This new curriculum has become the standard for bike team deployment nationally.

As the size and scope of public events grew, the need to provide intermediate transport options between the point of injury and a waiting ambulance became more evident.  With support from the local community and granting agencies such as the Ironman Foundation and The Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation, CCEMS was able to design and purchase a custom transport trailer and medical response all-terrain vehicle (UTV).  These specific-purpose vehicles support the bike team and other agencies across the region.

Events

Currently, our team provides its services to approximately 50 events per year at the request of community organizations from all over the Houston Metro Area.  Some of the larger events are the Annual FM 1960 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, The North American Ironman Championship, The Galveston 70.3 Ironman competition, and the Insperity Classic Senior PGA Tournament.  The team regularly provides medical coverage to smaller events as well, to include neighborhood parades, charity golf tournaments, charity runs, triathlons, festivals, and school bike safety events.  Any organization can request medical coverage by our bike teams by sending an email to BikeEvents@ccems.com.  Provide your contact information so a member of our team can contact you to discuss your event.

 Staying on the Cutting Edge

Fast forward to 2019 and the current CCEMS Bike Medic Response team exceeds thirty members with a comparable size fleet of public safety equipped bikes ready for deployment.  This year, CCEMS took possession of five Benelli electric bikes (e-bikes) to stay on the cutting edge of public safety cycling.  These new generation bikes employ a pedal-assist electric motor, providing our teams the ability to respond farther, faster with less exertion to provide the necessary emergency care to our community.