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Hero in Two Wheels

ambucycle to the rescue
Yes, congestion could kill life. That’s not an overstatement, it’s a fact. Out of many cities across the world, heavy traffic, construction, ignorance road users and poorly maintained roads keep first responders from getting patients in time. These are the challenges faced by emergency care of the health system. According to local news, Malaysia has the third highest fatality rate from road accidents in Asia and Asean, behind Thailand and Vietnam.

When it comes to first responders in the emergency medical services, getting somewhere and reaching somewhere quickly define two factors. It can be the difference between life and death, or between severe pain and relief for a patient. That’s when an ambucycle comes in time.

What is Ambucycle?

An ambucycle is a motorcycle, equipped with a broad range of emergency medical equipment and supplies. It is used as a first response vehicle in some countries like Israel and Britain due to its ability to weave through heavy traffic. An ambucycle and its medic rider can reach the scene of an accident in an average of 90 seconds. That’s light speed compared to the 20-30 minutes for a traditional ambulance to reach the same destination while dealing with traffic congestion and road closures.

Eli Beer's ambucycle

Eli Beer, Founder of United Hatzalah

The Ambucycle is the innovation of Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah. At age 15, he took his first EMT course and began volunteering with an ambulance service in Israel. However, he quickly realized that every minute passed between leaving the station to arriving at a patient’s door was a lifetime. So at the age of 17, he assembled a group of EMTs and a handful of emergency radio receivers to rush medical attention to those in need – sometimes on foot.

Today, 25 years later, Beer’s team of the first responder has evolved into United Hatzalah. It involves a 2,000-volunteer army of medical technicians that can deploy on a moment’s notice. In just the last year, the organization helped 207,000 patients, over 40,000 of which were treated for life-threatening emergencies. United Hatzalah has trained volunteer medics throughout Israel who complete 180 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of field training before being certified. They always keep a bright orange vest and backpack with medical equipment close at hand because they never know when they’ll be called on to save a life.

United Hatzlah's Eli beer

A faster alternative

The ambucycles obviously can’t carry a person, but they can stabilize a patient long enough for an ambulance to arrive, thanks to an onboard trauma kit, oxygen canister, defibrillator and many more. The medics each have a smartphone equipped with GPS, allowing volunteers to be notified of an emergency and respond within minutes. Each year, the bikes serve almost 500 calls, one-quarter of which are life-threatening. And they do it all for free.


The use of ambucycles for the first response has proven to be a critical link in the emergency chain of survival. With the rapid growing of transport and logistics in various fields, it is possible for Malaysia to step up its game and allowing healthcare delivery to a greater change in the healthcare system.

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