MedStar Ice Storm Operations Update - February 2, 2011






Dallas / Fort Worth, TX — February 2, 2011 -   Due to dangerous road conditions in Fort Worth and surrounding areas, MedStar is continuing it’s safety measures to suspend high-speed, lights-and-sirens patient transports and long-distance transports to medical facilities outside of the organization’s service area. 


MedStar ambulance units will respond to calls at a speed that is safe for large vehicles on icy roads and will not use lights-and-sirens which can prove distracting to other drivers.  Additionally, patient transports will be limited to medical facilities in the MedStar service area in order to reduce the amount of time the ambulance is traveling on dangerous streets.


Both measures are to limit the risk of causing or being involved in additional vehicle collisions which pose a significant concern for crews, patients being transported and the driving public.


MedStar will continue to evaluate road conditions and resume high-speed and lights-and-siren response and transport patterns as soon as it is safe to do so.


Over the past two days, MedStar has recorded some statistics of note in the 9-1-1 call volume:


  • Calls for Breathing Problems – 96% above average
  • Calls for Pregnancy / Birth – 150% above average
  • Calls for Falls – 186% above average
  • Calls for Traffic accidents – only 41% above average


The increase in falls is certainly predictable as so many surfaces are coated with ice.  Physiologically speaking, abrupt and dramatic changes in the weather can heighten breathing problems for those who suffer from those conditions regularly.  Historically, large storms and other dramatic changes in pressure tend to also precipitate an increase in births and labor on-set. 


The surprising figure is for traffic accidents, which is lower than previous ice storm events in the area.  This may be attributed to the early announcements of delays, closures and cancellations which have enabled people staying home and off the roads.


MedStar continues to urge residents to stay off the roads, if possible until conditions improve.


About MedStar

Responding to over 100,000 calls each year, MedStar EMS is the exclusive emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider to over 880,000 residents throughout  Fort Worth and 14 other Tarrant County cities including Haltom City, Burleson, Saginaw, White Settlement, Forest Hill, River Oaks, Lake Worth, Sansom Park, Westworth Village, Blue Mound, Edgecliff Village, Haslet, Lakeside and Westover Hills.  Established in 1986, MedStar is governed by the Area Metropolitan Ambulance Authority board of directors and is one of only 132 ambulance services in the country to receive national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. 


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