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Fort Worth PD and MedStar in West 7th Entertainment District to speed response

MedStar and the Fort Worth Police Department have set up a way to speed responses to emergency medicine calls in the popular – and crowded – West 7th area.

On Friday and Saturday nights, thousands of visitors and residents come the entertainment venues in the blocks bordered by W. 7th Street, Bledsoe and Foch streets and University Drive, creating a significant challenge for medical calls, MedStar said in a news release.

The solution?

Bicycles.

The partnership was the brainchild of Lt. Fred Long and Cmdr. Cynthia O’Neil, Fort Worth PD’s West Division Commander.

“Our bicycle officers were dealing with the logistics of trying to get MedStar and the fire department into this area for medical calls, either when people called 9-1-1, or when officers wanted someone to be evaluated for a medical or trauma incident,” O’Neil said.

“ MedStar has a well-established bicycle medic team, so we felt it would be valuable to invite the MedStar bike medics to pair side-by-side with our bike officers,” she said.

Since the program was initiated in September of 2018, bicycle medics have treated 55 patients, reduced ambulance responses into the district by 27.5% and fire department medical responses by 64%.

Bike medics were able to treat 41 patients without the need to have any other response into the district.

“This is an exceptionally valuable partnership for both MedStar and the visitors to W. 7th. For major medical calls, the bike medics can be on scene in minutes to begin lifesaving care.,” MedStar CEO Doug Hooten said in the release.

He said the MedStar medics can treat patients with minor medical issues and help them get follow-up care without send an ambulance into the highly congested area.

The Fort Worth PD//MedStar partnership operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. all year long.

The program has kept ambulances and fire engines available for other responses.

– FWBP Staff

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