Bike police have been around for awhile; now fire departments are using bicycles to get their emergency medical technicians into crowded events.
The next innovation for the bicycle is its use as an ambulance. Non-governmental organizations in developing countries are building trailers for bikes that can carry patients to medical clinics.
A non-governmental organization, Arise Africa International, came up with the innovation that pairs a homemade trailer with a bicycle to get people in for medical treatment from remote areas on Jinja, Uganda.
The article at The New Vision says the ambulance trailer is constructed with a metal frame, and fitted with a coil shock absorber spring to reduce the jolts of a bumpy ride. A waterproof cloth cover is added for rainy weather.
“It may not be the smoothest of rides,” said Wilson Mwanja, the head of a clinic that receives the service of a bike ambulance, but it enables to people to get to the medical clinics more quickly.
Another group, Practical Action, is working with villagers in Nepal to build bicycle trailers that can be used as ambulances. The Practical Action website shows a schematic of their style of ambulance; another is shown at Massive Change.
In Malawi in southeast Africa, the World Health Organization helped the government build bicycle ambulances to get pregnant women to clinics. That country has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality during child birth, a United Nations piece explains.