Miami-Dade County, FL Fire Rescue

Miami-Dade County, FL Fire Rescue

The History of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Motorcycle Emergency Response Team (MERT)


To enhance our EMS services and contribute to MDFR’s performance improvement by reducing response times throughout our community.  Provide rapid medical care in a safe and expedient manner thus increasing patient survivability.  Overview of Operations

Miami-Dade County is ranked among the top 4 areas in the nation for traffic congestion.  Miami-Dade has a population of 2,400,000 inhabitants, of which 70% (1,598,322) are registered drivers.  Approximately 1,290,000 vehicles are registered in Miami-Dade County.  These numbers equal overburdened major arteries and secondary roads, many already taxed with extensive construction projects.  The resulting side effect of this is gridlock.  Our fire department suppression and rescue units respond to a significant amount of Life Threatening Calls throughout the county.  Many of these calls are hard to get to, due to the difficulty of navigating our large units through heavy traffic.  The Motorcycle Emergency Response Team (MERT) arrive at the scene in a more efficient and expedient manner, lowering our response times, initiating medical treatment and keeping our fire rescue units in service, available for other calls within their respective territory.

The program incorporates the use of motorcycles in MDFR’s daily fire rescue operations.  Each team consists of 2 Motor Medics who are assigned to various sectors of the county during the hours of 8:00a.m. to 6:00p.m., Monday through Friday.The MERT members monitor their radios for calls that occur within their sector and respond accordingly.  Upon arrival at the scene they make a rapid patient assessment, size-up the need for additional units to respond and determine the need for patient transport by ambulance, rescue or air transport.The increasing traffic congestion in Miami-Dade County requires highly maneuverable, low volume vehicles to access scenes more expediently.  The MERT fleet consists of 10 Harley Davidson Road King rescue motorcycles which measure 37.2″ wide, versus the average fire rescue truck width of 102″ (or 10ft.) mirror to mirror.

MERT responds to all emergency medical calls that occur within their sectors.  Other functions include special events, special assignment utilization throughout Miami-Dade County, and post-disaster reconnaissance and response.

MERT program objectives include:

Reduced response times

Increased patient survivability

Increased access to early defibrillation and medical treatment

Availability of ALS (Advanced Life Support) and fire suppression units for other calls

Decrease of on-scene times for ALS and fire suppression units

Emergency medical response and accessibility to large crowds at major events.

Availability of triage and reconnaissance at major incidents and disasters

Dignitary Details

Reduction of wear and tear to large fleet units Fuel economy.

For story by Coralie Carlson on MOTORCYCLE RESCUE: Members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Motorcycle Emergency Response Team (MERT) (wearing blue jumpsuites and helmets) treat a trauma victim after he fell from a roof 4/19/04.

Information and Photos provided by the Lt. of Media and Public Relations Bureau of the Miami-Dade County, FL Fire Rescue.