TIM McCreery is in a lucky position to combine his passion with his profession.
The 27-year-old paramedic from Yarra Junction is undergoing training to become part of the Ambulance Victoria bicycle response unit.
The BRU attends major events in Melbourne — such as the Spring Racing Carnival, Grand Prix and New Year's Eve — to quickly respond to incidents normal ambulances cannot reach.
"I'm the kind of person who loves cycling and I try to get out there three or four times a week," Mr McCreery said.
"To me it's the coming together of two things I love — my work and my bike."
After being short-listed as one of 16 members of Ambulance Victoria to join the BRU team, Mr McCreery has undergone the relevant training and is ready to get out on the footpaths of Melbourne.
"All the people picked are keen cyclists, so I don't think it will be a problem attending to people quickly," he said.
"I guess that is the BRU's main role, to cut waiting times in crowded areas, which can save lives. It also serves as a good PR role, being able to talk with people about Ambulance Victoria out on the job." When not working with the BRU, Mr McCreery is an advanced life support paramedic at Yarra Junction, attending all types of incidents throughout the Yarra Ranges.
The BRU, set up in 2006 for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, was the first of its kind in Australia.
"The paramedics on mountain bikes work in pairs and carry smaller versions of equipment carried on normal ambulances, including defibrillators," Ambulance Victoria's manager for emergency management Paul Holman said.
"If there was a major disaster such as an earthquake, the mountain bikes would be able to access areas that normal ambulances can't reach."