a team of medical professionals who are avid cyclists, provides volunteer riding medical support for organized bicycle rides and promotes bicycle safety in Sonoma County
Founded in 2014, VeloMed is the first organization in the country to position health care professionals on bicycles during cycling events, providing first responders for scene management and medical care at bicycling accidents, often prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). This concept of “Ski Patrol” on bikes is unique and has had a dramatic impact on the safety and well being for many cyclists pedaling throughout Sonoma County, as well as many neighboring counties.
As the value of our services have become increasingly recognized and respected by the cycling community, VeloMed has widened its scope into marshaling with BIKE MONKEY's MARSHALS. This partnership of pairing a VeloMed cyclist with a non-medical marshal, working closely with SAGS, MOTOS, EMS and communication teams has added another layer of safety unheard of during large cycling endurance events.
The genesis of VeloMed is traced to our participation in Levi's Gran Fondo as riding race marshals. This event brought home the benefits of having recognizable, medically capable riders directly involved in the event.
Over the years of the Fondo, local physicians have helped stabilize many injured riders and likely even saved a life. It has become increasingly obvious, with the expansion of cycling in Sonoma County and organized events, that organized riding medical professionals could provide safety benefits in many events.
Fundamentally, we see VeloMed as a vehicle to give back to the sport and community we love.
WHO WE ARE
VeloMed, a team of medical professionals who are avid cyclists, provides volunteer riding medical support for organized bicycle rides and promotes bicycle safety in Sonoma County.
VeloMed is designed to perform a public service and, most of all, be a fun way to support the community and sport we all enjoy. Riders of all levels are wanted and needed. The shorter and smaller rides need support just as much (and maybe more) than the massive iconic pain-fests that get all the attention.
GOOD SAMARITAN CLAUSE
VeloMed will be a format to organize and educate medical volunteers to augment ride safety by placing cyclists in the local rides where they will often be the first person to encounter an injured rider.
VeloMed operates under the Good Samaritan clause.
VeloMed’s participation in rides is purely voluntary. We are self-supporting volunteers paying our own way and providing a voluntary emergency service, as defined by our professional training, for any emergencies.
As such, we will not accept any form of compensation or benefits for our participation, and no sponsors are allowed.
DOES VELOMED PROVIDE MEDICAL TRAINING AND WHAT FIRST AID SUPPLIES DO YOU CARRY DURING EVENTS?
We refer to our annual medical training as "Spring Training".
It generally takes place at the SRJC PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING CENTER in Windsor during the month of April.
The class is two hours long and emphasizes scene management at the crash site, actual scenarios of cycling injuries as well as medical conditions you may encounter during an event and lastly a lecture from an "expert" on a wide variety of topics related to cycling such as head injuries, exercise associated hyponatremia, rehabilitation of cycling injuries.
We always carry a "basic" first aid kit in order to treat minor injuries such as road rash. I personally have the following items in a plastic zip lock bag that comfortably fits in a jersey pocket. Gloves, XeroForm or Neosporin or Petroleum soaked gauze, 4 x 4s, and Coban. Rinse the wound with the patient's water bottle. Apply the Neosporin or Xeroform to the wound to prevent the 4x4s from sticking. Then 4x4s and wrap the wound in Coban.
It's important to realize the best asset you bring to the scene of a crash is your "Brain" and proper decision making. Yes indeed, your medical training, knowledge of scene management, cycling related injuries, as well as the local roads, micro climates and various locations of rest stops/ first aid stations are invaluable qualities while cycling for VeloMed.
SO WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO RIDE WITH VELOMED?
1. You need to be a medical professional, MD, DO, PA, RN, Paramedic, EMT, PT or OT.
We also have several cyclist that are retired firemen with advanced first aid certification.
2. "Spring Training" is mandatory every year.
3. Volunteer for at least 2 rides per year.
4. VeloMed Annual dues are $30.
5. Buy a VeloMed kit or at least a jersey.
6. MOST IMPORTANT: Have fun riding bikes and supporting our community!!
HOW DO I BUY A VELOMED KIT?
We typically place an order for new kits every year or so.
Our present vendor is Giordano and they have minimum requirements in order to keep the cost down.
I also have several items in inventory that may be available depending on sizing.
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO RIDE AS A MARSHAL?
Yes, for certain rides.
I have the information listed in the drop down menu with each event listed above in 2019 Events.
Through the years VeloMed has teamed up with Bike Monkey & Red Peloton Cycling to assist with marshaling duties for certain events.
There are basically 3 categories for VeloMedics to participate.
1. VeloMed - You register for the event and pay full registration fees. You have total flexibility with regards to who you ride with as well as when you depart.
Your primary responsibility is to stop and assist with medical issues on course.
2. Marshal/VeloMed - These events are organized by BIKE MONKEY 's MARSHALS.
There is a head marshal for these events who selects the marshals to participate, your route, cycling partner, and designated time of departure. You will wear a Marshal jersey (Levi's Gran Fondo Marshal Jersey) and your VeloMed bottoms.
Click on BIKE MONKEY's MARSHALS for additional information and the basics of marshaling.
Here is a list of the events:
Fish Rock, Sagan Fondo's, Wine Country Century, Giro Bello, Tour de Fox, Stetina's Sierra, Levi's Gran Fondo, Hammer Road Rally
3. VeloMed Marshal - For these events you wear your VeloMed kit and have flexibility in determining your riding partner, route, and departure time.
Your responsibility is marshaling as well as medical management.
List of Events:
CampoVelo, Chef's Cycle, Sonoma BackRoad Challenge.
If you participate as a Marshal/VeloMed or VeloMed Marshal, the ride is generally comped.
Please contact Dave Robertson if you are interested in marshaling or would like further information.
CAN I RIDE AS VELOMED IN OTHER CYCLING EVENTS NOT LISTED ON THE 2019 EVENTS?
We encourage it. Even for events outside of Sonoma County.
Just wear your VeloMed kit, carry a basic first aid kit, stop for any medical issues and remember you are an "ambassador" for the event as well as VeloMed.
WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING INJURIES DOES VELOMED TYPICALLY ENCOUNTER?
VeloMed has been collecting TRAUMA STATISTICS of injuries we have encountered since our inception in 2014.
The majority of injuries are minor, such as road rash and mild contusions. Many cyclist are able to continue riding the event after treatment.
However, there is a subset of serious injuries requiring evacuation by SAG or EMS ambulances for tertiary medical care. Life Flight helicopters have been utilized on three occasions.
Please click on VeloMed TRAUMA STATISTICS to view the data.
1. An article written by Stephen Meffert, MD.
Click on the link to SONOMA MEDICINE.
Scroll to page 33.
2. Article appearing in THE PRESS DEMOCRAT.
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