A Penticton paramedic implements secure bike storage at ambulance station 329
There’s always something you can do,”
says Arthur Gregoris, a primary care paramedic with BC Emergency Health Services who is based at the Penticton station. Arthur is a believer that all health-care staff can contribute to environmental sustainability in their workplace. While project managing the establishment of a bike storage system at his station isn’t an official part of his role, it was something that Arthur felt was important to take on.
“I’ve always cared about people and the planet, even from a fairly young age. Caring about sustainability in my workplace was a fairly natural extension of that.” Arthur saw the need for a safe and secure place for station paramedics and staff to store their bikes at Station 329, so he developed a solution, got funding for it through PHSA’s Health Promotion Initiative Fund (HPIF), and oversaw its implementation. Arthur’s co-worker, and long-time, dedicated bike commuter to the station, Scott Pittendreigh, served as the project’s co-lead and provided valuable input based on his years of riding to work.
The pair created a plan for the bike shelter that was “easily actionable” and “relatively inexpensive.” In addition, Arthur wanted the shelter to be inclusive of diverse types of cycling and e-mobility devices, while also being adaptable enough to be used in other ambulance stations.
The project faced significant challenges including disruptions caused by COVID-19, as well as delays due to resulting from building repairs. Despite these challenges, the team remained undeterred and was ultimately able to successfully establish versatile bike sheltering amenities at their station, using a vertical, swivelling system to creatively optimize utilization of the small space that was available. Also, to support the growing popularity and potential of e-bikes and other micro-electric mobility platforms, Arthur ensured that the design included features to accommodate these devices as well.
On the surface, it might only seem to amount to adding little drops to the proverbial bucket, but it is a bucket that needs filling with drops; and, as we saw in BC last year, enough drops can literally move mountains.”
Arthur hopes that other ambulance stations will be able to replicate similar types of projects that are simple in implementation, but significant in their impact. “Being able to confidently shelter a full range of active and e-mobility devices, from both the elements and from theft, will facilitate and encourage their uptake as viable commuting options.