MedStar and Texas Health Resources to donate ambulance and supplies to Fort Worth Sister City Toluca, Mexico

From left, District 2 City Council member Carlos Flores; Matt Zavadsky, MedStar; Daniel Gomez of the Toluca Fire Department; Florence Salazar Bruner, Chair of the Fort Worth Sister Cities Toluca committee; District 3 Councilmember and Chairman of MedStar’s public authority Board Dr. Brian Byrd; Fort Worth Sister Cities President and CEO Mae Ferguson; and Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Anette Soto Landeros. Credit: Paul K. Harral

Toluca, Mexico, capital of the State of Mexico, is the center of a rapidly growing urban area and the fifth-largest city in Mexico, home to 750,000 residents.

Toluca city leaders mentioned to Fort Worth Sister Cities leaders that they were having challenges with reliable ambulance vehicles for their fire department, and Sister Cities turned to MedStar.

As a result, District 3 Councilmember and Chairman of MedStar’s public authority Board, Dr. Brian Byrd, presented the title and the ignition key to Daniel Gomez of the Toluca Fire Department in a transfer ceremony Dec. 3 at MedStar’s headquarters on Alta Mere Drive.

MedStar replaces ambulances at the end of five years of service or 250,000 miles, but the units have been professionally maintained and are good for years of additional service.

Texas Health Resources, a partner of Fort Worth Sister Cities International, donated 7,300 N95 masks to Toluca.

MedStar’s board of directors authorized the donation as well as a previous one to Tarrant County College to be used in the institution’s emergency medicine training sequence.

Fort Worth Sister Cities President and CEO Mae Ferguson noted the 22-year relationship with Toluca, saying that her opposite number reached out about the need for an additional ambulance.

The response from MedStar came quickly, she said.
“The Mayor of Toluca and all of his staff have sent us regards as far as this valuable donation,” Ferguson said. “So MedStar, City of Fort Worth, this is what these relationships are all about. And we thank you so much for making this happen.”
District 2 City Council member Carlos Flores said the relationship with Toluca is valuable and strong.

“We established these governmental relationships, but more importantly, we established personal relationships, which led to be able to do things like this, to help one another out, especially in the time of COVID-19,” Flores said.

Byrd said the donation represents MedStar’s commitment to help further EMS deliver locally and internationally.
“One of the things that I like to point out about MedStar is that we are a national leader in EMS delivery, in EMS innovation. Our model is looked at all over the United States and all over the world, and replicated,” he said.. “So this sort of thing is just part of what we do here.”

The ambulance being donated has had about 10,000 patient care experiences over its service to MedStar, he said.
“This ambulance knows what it’s doing. We know it will continue to serve the residents and visitors of Toluca for years to come. And we are honored to donate this ambulance to the Toluca Fire Department,” Byrd said.

“And let me just say this, that Daniel I think it’s appropriate that your name is Daniel. He was rescued out of the den of lions, and with this ambulance, you guys will be rescuing people out of trauma and hardship and bringing them back,” Byrd said. “With that being said, sir, it’s my honor to present you both with the title for this wonderful ambulance and with the key for it.”

Disclosure: Paul K. Harral is Vice Chair of the MedStar Board of Directors