26 September 2023

Have bike will be ambulance

Start the conversation

Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP) Paul Smith, has declared there’s nothing better than weaving through Sydney traffic every day responding to emergency callouts in his role as an ambulance motorbike rider.

A member of the NSW Ambulance’s Motorcycle Response Unit (MRU), Mr Smith said he wouldn’t want to do his work any other way.

“It’s my comfort zone,” he said.

“I love to ride. It’s the best way to travel. There’s always that sense of freedom.”

“Mr Smith said that when it came to emergency responses, the bikes improved response times and gave better access.

“We can get into the pedestrian zones in Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Pitt Street Mall, even the platforms at Central,” he said.

“And when we arrive, we’re just like an ICP car with our own bespoke kits.”

He said that when they backed up an ambulance, the riders gave that ambulance ICP capability.

“The MRU kits include serious yet portable equipment like a Zoll X defibrillator, an EZ-IO intraosseous infusion device, and video laryngoscopes if intubation is required.

“We respond to everything and anything,” Mr Smith said.

He said that while most of the riding was within the Sydney metropolitan area in the CBD, inner east and inner west, every now and then they have jobs as far away as the Blue Mountains or the Central Coast.

“We do a fair bit of mopping up low acuity jobs, with around a third of responses resulting in non-transports.”

Mr Smith has been riding around for almost 26 years, since November 1997.

“We undergo the same training as NSW Police Highway Patrol motorcyclists at Goulburn Police Academy,” he said. “As well as having ICP-level clinical skills, we work to the most exacting skill and safety standards.”

Then there’s his bike – a Yamaha FJR 1300.

“A superb machine. Well-engineered. Big enough to give you a real presence on the road.”

For Paul Smith, it’s his office – and the ride of his life.

“I’ve never taken any other role on road – all these years. I just love what I do,” he said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.