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Medically Equipped Motorcycle Gets Ready For Papal Visit Crowds

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Don't be surprised if, instead of a traditional ambulance, you see a motorcycle operated by Paramedic Ken Beerger, roaring up to your side, if you need medical help among the Papal crowds.

"We carry the same medication and supplies an ambulance carries," Capt. Berger of the Cheltenham Ambulance Squad told CBS 3's Walt Hunter.

But unlike an ambulance, the motorcycle cuts through-and around-gridlocked gatherings easily.

"With the motorcycle," Capt. Beerger explained, "I can ride on the sidewalk, get off the street."

"You won't have to wait to get to the hospital," Deputy Chief Al Davey of the Narberth Ambulance crew explained, "we bring it to you."

Davey says Narberth Ambulance crews, who are first responders at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where the Pope will be staying, are partnering with Cheltenham crews, who purchased the special bike in 2000 to answer calls in traffic-choked highway construction zones.

"It cuts the call-in time from when you call for help until you get help," Davey explained.

Once patients are stabilized, they are transferred to a traditional ambulance to be transported to the hospital.

The ambulance crews are hoping the special motorcycle, the only one of its kind licensed in Pennsylvania, will be an answer to the prayers of anyone needing help among the crowds expected for the Papal visit.

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