What happens to your bike if you are taken away due to an injury or illness on the greenways?
In the event that a cyclist—especially one riding alone—encounters an injury or illness and is taken away to an ER by medics, what happens to the cyclist's bicycle? Good question, so we asked Brandon Ross, Parks and Recreation Director. He said that if the cyclist is awake and can provide the Park Police next of kin information, then they will hold the bike until someone can come to get it (at one of their satellite offices). He added that if they can’t reach anyone, as a last resort, they put it in the property room as personal property under the victim’s name and case number for the injured person.
This is a benefit of cycling on the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System. Medics usually arrive on specially-equipped ATVs that have the capability of carrying an injured person. The Park Police also operate with ATVs with the capability of carrying downed bicycles.
In addition to police, the city has the Trail Stewards who patrol the Salado, Leon Creek, and Medina River greenway trails. They carry cell phones and use the same bikes and equipment issued to the Park Police. The city's website state that their goals include:
- Increased visibility on the greenway trails
- Outreach and education on park rules to include proper trail usage and safety tips
- Distribution of trail maps and emergency water
- Identification of trail and greenway maintenance needs
- Addressing small scale maintenance activities such as litter pick-up and graffiti abatement
- Observation and report function for the department and Park Police
Their training includes CPR and first aid certification as well as a bike safety program.
The trails have emergency posts with solar panels that power an all-weather communications panel that consists of ADA-friendly controls. Even though these posts are beneficial, an incident most likely will occur at a location that is not near one of these reporting stations. Therefore, the best way to utilize the emergency option is to be aware of where you are at any time and carry your cell phone. For instance, should you encounter an incident and able to make a call, dial the 911 and advise the operator of your whereabouts on the trail such as a location in relation to a road or trailhead. Should you encounter someone else in trouble, stop and render aid. If necessary, call 911. It must be reminded that the cyclist's health must come first. Once that medics rendered their services, the Park Police can handle the preservation of the cyclist's property. If you have carried your bike by motor vehicle to a trailhead, provide the police the make and model and where it is parked.
Fortunately, most trail cyclists are willing to stop and help others. That's the beauty of this community.
—SRR News Services
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