MANSFIELD — Firefighters are used to climbing ladders, sometimes to great heights, to fight fires and rescue people.
Now, city service members will soon be hitting the sidewalk on ATVs to reach people faster in crowded situations where every second counts.
The department is training a bike team that will be able to navigate crowds more easily than an ambulance in emergency situations, Fire Chief Justin Desrosiers said Tuesday.
Team members will carry portable defibrillators and first aid equipment, allowing them to immediately begin treating patients before an ambulance arrives.
“They are the first responders,” Desrosiers said.
Foxboro firefighters have used bikes for years at events at Gillette Stadium, according to the chief.
Mansfield’s bike team will be used at events such as Xfinity Center concerts and the Mansfield Downtown Business Association’s annual ride, Desrosiers said.
Currently, 25 firefighters are training to be certified for the team, and the department has five standard mountain bikes.
The number of trained firefighters will ensure that there will be firefighters available to work the details of the bike team, according to Desrosiers.
Team members learn bike safety techniques on an obstacle course behind the East Street Fire Headquarters and in the classroom in order to be certified.
David Linton can be reached at 508-236-0338.