Fire bike

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A fire bike in the Tokyo Fire Museum, Japan

A fire bike is a motorcycle used by a fire department. Several countries around the world use fire bikes, often to beat traffic congestion, and the equipment carried ranges from simple extinguishers to jet guns with hose rigs. Firefighters also use fire bikes to offer medical treatment. In the United Kingdom, fire bikes are used by some fire services in road safety awareness campaigns.

Worldwide users[edit]

A São Paulo Fire Department bike
Honda fire bikes in service with Tehran Fire Department
Ichikawa Fire Department Ambulance / Fire Honda XR motorcycle
The Merseyside fire alarm response bike

Fire bikes are used around the world.

Brazil[edit]

The São Paulo Fire Department of Brazil use teams of two fire bikes to bring down first response times to fire or medical emergencies in the congested streets of São Paulo from 10–15 minutes to just 5 minutes. Their bikes are 400cc machines, and carry basic emergency medical services (EMS) equipment, tools, signalling devices, and other accessories, such as hand lights and elevator keys.[1]

Brunei[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Brunei.

Denmark[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Denmark.[2]

Hong Kong[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Hong Kong.[2] According to the Hong Kong Fire Services Department's website, "Fire Motorcycles (F.M.C.) are special fire appliances developed by Firexpress A/S in Denmark to provide rapid response and to carry out fire fighting operation". They are using BMWR1100RT as their fire bikes.

Iran[edit]

Iran National Fire Department uses two models of Honda motorcycle in Tehran and some models of Hyosung motorcycles in other metropolises of Iran.[citation needed]

Italy[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Italy.[2]

Japan[edit]

In Japan, the Tokyo Fire Department uses pairs of motorcycle units nicknamed "Quick Attackers" for fire-fighting, rescue and medical first aid treatment. The units comprise two 200cc bikes operating - a 'type T' unit is equipped with a portable impulse fire extinguishing system, while a 'type U' unit carries simple rescue equipment and fire extinguishers. As of 2001, 20 Quick Attacker teams were in service. With Japan having a long history of earthquakes, Quick Attacker units are capable of off-road response and are also used for rapid fact-finding in earthquake and other disaster zones.[1]

Malaysia[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Malaysia.[citation needed]

Nepal[edit]

Fire bikes are have been proposed for use in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.[3]

Singapore[edit]

The Singapore Civil Defence Force introduced fire bikes in 1998, in order to combat increasing traffic congestion which delays ordinary fire appliances, with response time being a critical factor in preventing the spread of fires in the high-rise residential blocks of the urban island state.[4] The force operates two-man fire bike teams manned by junior officers. They are usually the first to arrive at the scene of a fire, and if necessary, will enter a premises to fight or prevent the spread of a fire.[5] The riders are equipped with impulse guns, which can fire powerful bursts of water mist at speeds of up to 200 metres per second.[4]

Sweden[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Sweden.[2]

Turkey[edit]

Fire bikes are used in Turkey.[2]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has operated a number of fire bikes in different roles since 2005. In July 2010 they became the first service in the UK to deploy fire bikes specially equipped to fight fires.[2][6][7] The two BMW R1200RT trial bikes are fitted with two 25-litre (6.6 US gal) canisters filled with water and foam and a high powered 30-metre (98 ft) long jet hose. They are to be used to combat small fires to free up main fire appliances.[2][6][7] They are to undergo a six-month trial, with the prospect of being adopted by other forces if found to be effective.[2] Since 2005, Merseyside had been using a fire bike to attend automated fire alarm calls in Liverpool to assess situations ahead of the arrival of main appliances, due to rising traffic congestion and because most of these automated calls are false alarms.[8] In 2007, Merseyside also introduced two Honda quad-bikes for fire safety awareness campaigns, and possibly for operational use to fight woodland or grass fires.[9]

A number of UK fire services also operate fire bikes not to fight fires or aid fire response times, but instead to promote safe motorcycle riding. Bikes are operated in this role by the fire services of East Sussex,[10] West Sussex,[11] North Wales,[12] Kent[13][14] and Northumberland.[15][16] The Northumberland fire bike was later fitted with an external automatic defibrillator and trauma care kit allowing it to also be used as a response vehicle for road traffic accidents.[17]

United States[edit]

In September, 2012, the Los Angeles City Fire Department started a trial run studying the use of a motorcycle response team for brush fires and to aid during times of heavy congestion.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dave Evans (Summer 2001). "Motorcycles Get You There Faster". Fire.gov newsletter. National Institute of Standards and Technology and Federal Emergency Management Agency. p. 4. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Roberts, Laura (23 July 2010). "Firefighters to use motorbikes fitted with hoses for the first time". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "'Fire bikes' to be pushed into action in Kathmandu", My Republica, 9 February 2014 
  4. ^ a b "Fire Vehicles: Fire Bike". Df.gov.sg > General > About_Us > CD_Snapshots > Fire Vehicles: Fire Bike. Singapore Civil Defence Force. 2 September 2008. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Fire Safety (Amendment) Act". www.mha.gov.sg > Policies > Civil Defence» Fire Safety (Amendment) Act. Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs. 16 June 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Motorbike pilot scheme for Merseyside firefighters". BBC News. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "New fire bikes are a first for UK" (Press release). Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Firefighter is to get on his bike". BBC News. 23 June 2005. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Quad squad joins fire fleet". Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. 19 October 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "ESFRS FireBike page". East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. n.d. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Drive to reduce motorbike accidents". West Sussex County Times (Johnston Press). 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Operation Focus". North Wales Police. n.d. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Fire bike delivers road safety message". Medway Community Safety Partnership. 5 January 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Fire Bike Pitstop project". www.kent.fire-uk.org > Your safety > Safety campaigns > Fire Bike >. Kent Fire & Rescue Service. n.d. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Safety first on a bike". The Evening Chronicle. ncjMedia. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Two-wheeled addition to rescue service". The Berwick Advertiser (Johnstone Press). 8 February 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Northumberland's lifesaving firebike". Morpeth Herald (Johnstone Press). 15 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Los Angeles firefighters test motorcycle response unit", Los Angeles Times, 24 September 2012 

External links[edit]