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May 3, 2015

BFA Motorcy Ambulance

May 3, 2015 | By |

In 2013 I was involved in 2 fatalities due to cardiac arrest because of traffic jams. The traffic in Bangkok central has increased over the years and as a result traffic jams are a daily occurrence. In 2013-14, I tried to find sponsors for a new advanced motorcycle to try to get around this problem. The cost was very high because of the specialist equipment needed as well as a specially modified motorcycle that had enough power to travel fast with a heavy load but with the slight size to squeeze through very narrow gaps and even footpaths. My good friend Carl Heaton organized a comedy night “Bangkok 555” and raised over 70,000 baht, and Qxeron engineering company organized the rest through its customer’s donations. In total the bike and equipment costs well over 200,000 baht.

BFA Motorcy ambulance bike
I finally decided on a PCX150, although its power is still limited it handles well enough in the tight gaps that the narrow clogged roads of Bangkok offer. I am presently looking at how to increase the power on it through subtle modifications as well as bolstering the suspension. Most EMS-advanced motorcycles have side bags but this was not an option for us so we had to opt for a one box rear mounted model which allows me to carry almost everything I need (even though it exceeds the factory recommended loading). The box contains an AED (possibly the one and only in the volunteer service), EKG, airway management equipment and childbirth kit. The box is easily detachable and doubles as a carry bag.

BFA Motorcy ambulance - equipment
The large compartment under the seat allows the housing of a lot of equipment as well and helps weight distribution. More standard regularly used first-aid equipment is kept in hip-bags. A bullet proof jacket that I used during protests is also used to a carry body cam, 2 radios, lights, and a few other things. This jacket doubles as a protective motorcycle-vest in the event of a crash (hopefully this will not happen but since 80% of accidents in Bangkok involve motorcycles it seems inevitable). The weight I carry on my person is in excess of 15kg and I need to keep myself fit to handle it.

Finally the fit-out of the motorcycle was donated by Pro-Medic Thailand. It has Whelen led front and back red/blue 1 step lights plus a red pole light. The siren is a 100watt Whelen. Switching was hand made for thumb operation with riding gloves. Even the smallest detail as attended too such as replacement of side mirrors to tiny collapsible ones for those extra-tight gaps.

The bike has been operating for almost a year now and had one confirmed cardiac save plus has attended several others with unknown results. It has attended hundreds of other accidents and is almost always on scene first, which was always the main point.

The future of advanced motorcycle ambulances in Bangkok is certain as daily the traffic in Bangkok increases to unmanageable levels. Hopefully this type of bike will be used more by hospitals and specially trained staff in the future.

A big thanks to every person/organization that participated in making this possible.