A brief history and introduction to the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA), providing world-class training and resources to public safety cyclists since 1991.
Why put police, EMS & security personnel on mountain bikes?
One of the fastest growing trends in law enforcement and emergency medical response today is utilization of mountain bicycles. Quiet, cost efficient, and amazingly effective, mountain bikes are able to bridge the gap between automobiles and foot patrol. Experience has shown that citizens are more likely to approach a bike patrol officer than even a neighborhood beat officer, optimizing community oriented or problem oriented policing efforts. Bicycle officers are better able to use all of their senses, including smell and hearing, to detect and address crime. Bike patrol officers are often able to approach suspects virtually unnoticed, even in full uniform. Bike-mounted security officers create a highly mobile, visible presence in a wide range of facilities, including shopping malls, casinos, office parks, gated communities, hospital complexes, and amusement parks. The mobility of an EMS provider on a bike can mean the difference between life or death in congested or crowded conditions. EMS on bikes are increasingly deployed in tourist areas, during special events, in amusement parks and sports arenas, on college campuses, and in airports, train stations and other transportation hubs. They are also indispensable in urban and wilderness search and rescue and mass casualty situations.
Where would we use bikes?
Mountain bikes have proven effective in a number of different environments. They are swift and agile in busy urban areas where traffic snarls and crowds delay motorized units. Bikes are also effective in less urban areas for park patrol, parking lots, campus areas, residential patrol, business security, athletic or civic events, and specialized details. They can be operated on streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, and in any areas that are difficult to access with motor vehicles.
We know how to ride bikes; why do we need training?
While many officers and EMS providers know how to ride bikes, far fewer know how to cycle and survive in complex traffic. Unlike recreational cyclists who can choose routes that are convenient and safe, public safety cyclists have to ride where they are needed. That may mean they have to ride in extremely heavy traffic. Are the members of your bike unit skilled enough to do that now? Do they know where to ride on multi-lane or channelized roadways? Can they brake safely with maximum effectiveness and control? Can they perform emergency maneuvers if a car or object suddenly appears in their path? Police, EMS, and security cyclists need the skills to ascend and descend curbs, stairs, and other environmental obstacles. Police and security cyclists must know what tactics to use in a pursuit and how to dismount quickly but safely and perform an arrest or fire their sidearm. EMS cyclists must know how to cycle with a heavy load, select and pack medical equipment, and position a bike at a scene in such a way that it blocks curious onlookers yet does not hamper access to the medical equipment.
Why IPMBA training courses?
These courses are approved by the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) and are accredited by a number of state agencies. Based on principles of vehicular cycling, they utilize proven techniques to teach public safety cyclists how to ride safely and comfortably in traffic, off-road and under various conditions. Students spend hours in skill development, riding in diverse traffic situations and practicing patrol tactics or EMS-specific techniques. They learn to ascend curbs, descend stairs and perform emergency maneuvers designed to avoid crashes. All students who achieve a minimum score of 76% on the written test and a satisfactory rating on the practical exam are eligible for certification. Membership is required for certification; and certification is required for future advancement to IPMBA Instructor. Advanced training is offered at the annual IPMBA conference.
What equipment do I need? It is the responsibility of the course instructor to provide a full list of required equipment to registered students. All courses require: a quality mountain bike, properly fitted; a properly fitted bicycle helmet; pedal retention devices (toe clips, clipless pedals); and protective eye wear. Additional equipment typically required or recommended includes: padded cycling gloves, padded cycling shorts, rainwear, clothing for all weather conditions, basic bicycle tools, spare tube, front & rear lights, water bottles & cages, rear rack, and panniers (EMS only).
Is there a book about public safety cycling?
The Complete Guide to Public Safety Cycling is the single most comprehensive source of in-depth information on starting a bike unit or enhancing an established bike unit with tactical and technical tips on everything from basic equipment needs to detailed insights on policy, maintenance, training, legal issues, and much more. This essential resource will guide public safety personnel and agencies seeking put the wheels of a public safety bike unit in motion! The Complete Guide to Public Safety Cycling is the required text for all IPMBA Police, EMS, and Security Cyclist Courses. Section One covers all general aspects of Public Safety Cycling such as bicycle types and components, clothing and personal protective equipment, skill development, hazard avoidance, bike maintenance, nutrition and fitness, funding, and bike safety education for children. Section Two addresses police-specific equipment, patrol procedures and tactics, firearms training, and campus and security operations. Section Three is dedicated to EMS Bike Operations, including equipment, load placement, and scene management and safety.
Why should I join IPMBA?
IPMBA membership is open to individual public safety officers. IPMBA currently has over 3,000 members, so the networking opportunities are outstanding. Benefits of membership include eligibility for world-class training opportunities, the unique and informative IPMBA News, discounted registration to the annual IPMBA Conference, access to members-only discounts on bike duty-related products, a subscription to Bicycling magazine, and more! back to top http://www.ipmba.org
las vegas bike patrolInternational Police Mountain Bike Association
583 Frederick Road, Suite 5B Baltimore, Maryland 21228
PH: 410-744-2400 FAX: 410-744-5504 E-MAIL: ipmba "at" aol.com