Racecar drivers won’t be the only ones seen on wheels at the Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton.
Paramedics will be using two two-wheeled Segway Personal Transporters at the race event, allowing them to cut through crowds and respond to emergencies quickly. Both machines are equipped with a light and a siren loud enough to be heard over the roar of racecar engines, and are able to carry important first-response equipment.
“This is definitely something new to try,” said Edmonton EMS paramedic Rob Sharman, while riding his Segway yesterday.
“We have a lot of special vehicles like golf carts for events like this, but this is certainly one more tool that we can use to respond to emergencies.”
The new Segways will give paramedics the ability to see over crowds with their added height and can move two to three times faster than paramedics could on foot, say emergency officials.
Edmonton emergency services are using the Segways as part of a trial for future uses and Sharman says EMS could use them in places like Hawrelak Park.
“We already have bikes that work well in that park, but we have limited resources since the bikes don’t carry a lot of cargo,” said Sharman.
“These Segways will give us a little more endurance than what we have had in the past.”
Edmonton Police, meanwhile, announced plans last week to start a pilot-project that will see officers using the Segways during festivals, parades and special events.
Segways are already used as efficient private security vehicles at universities and campuses across North America and other Canadian emergency services are already starting to notice the machine’s ability to manoeuvre around crowds, said Chris Szydlowski, a general manager with Segway of Alberta.