In July 2013, the Atlanta Police Department Path Force began patrolling the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. For almost three years APD’s bike-mounted officers wearing dark jerseys – often patrolling in pairs – have been a visible presence along open sections of the Atlanta BeltLine’s 22-mile loop.
Recently, though, you may have been out on the Eastside Trail and noticed firefighters in red jerseys also out on bikes. These firefighters are part of Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department’s Mobile Medics Bike Team – specially trained and equipped EMT’s and paramedics who are able to respond to medical emergencies. Mobile Medics and the Path Force will now work together to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the Atlanta BeltLine.
“We’ve been working toward providing EMT coverage on the BeltLine for some time now,” says AFRD Public Information Officer Cortez Stafford. “We welcome this joint effort with the Atlanta Police Department’s Path Force. The fact that we’re now working together as a team is a win-win for BeltLine users and Atlanta’s overall public safety initiative.”
For now, the Mobile Medics will be patrolling the Eastside Trail on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
“Our hours and areas of coverage are based solely on the volume of people using the BeltLine,” Stafford says, “and the volume of users on the Eastside Trail during those weekend hours has reached a point where we can now justify the coverage. Extending hours of coverage on the Eastside Trail and expanding patrols to other sections of the BeltLine will occur as trail usage volume dictates.”
TyRon Holmes has been an AFRD firefighter for five years. He’s also a member of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s AB67, a group of young professionals from around the city who are helping the Partnership shape the vision of what the Atlanta BeltLine will become. Holmes sees the importance of the additional patrol teams.
“In just a few short years the Atlanta BeltLine has become one of the city’s most popular amenities,” Holmes said. “This trend will only continue. Given the trail’s popularity I fully support the city’s allocation of the public safety resources necessary to make sure trail users have the best possible Atlanta BeltLine experience.”
“I applaud the announcement that Mobile Medics are joining Path Force officers on the Atlanta BeltLine,” Holmes continued. “Two best-in-class organizations working together to keep our city a safe place to work, play and visit.”
Next time you’re out on the Atlanta BeltLine and you see these bike-mounted first responders – wearing red jerseys or blue – say hi and thank them for all they do!