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FWPD, MedStar partnership enhances safety for West Seventh entertainment district

Posted June 28, 2019

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group stand next to bikes
Police and medic bicycle teams patrol together on weekend nights.

The West Seventh district has become an incredibly popular venue for folks to enjoy a night out with friends. On weekend nights, thousands of visitors and residents enjoy the entertainment venues in the blocks bordered by West Seventh Street, Bledsoe Street, University Drive and Foch Street.

The sheer number of visitors creates a significant challenge getting emergency medical resources into the area for medical calls.

That is, until a partnership was formed between the bicycle teams from the Fort Worth Police Department and MedStar.

The partnership was the brainchild of Lt. Fred Long and Commander 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 911, 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.”

Since the program rolled out last September, bicycle medics have treated 55 patients, reduced ambulance responses into the district by 27.5% and reduced FWFD medical responses by 64%. So far, 41 patients have been treated by bike medics without the need to have other response into the district.

“This is an exceptionally valuable partnership for both MedStar and the visitors to West Seventh,” said Doug Hooten, MedStar’s CEO. “For major medical calls, the bike medics can be on scene in minutes to begin lifesaving care. For minor medical issues, they can treat the patient and help them get follow-up care without the need to respond an ambulance into that highly congested area.”

The partnership operates Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. year-round.

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