The West Seventh Street district is a very popular venue for area residents to enjoy a night out with friends. On Friday and Saturday nights, thousands of visitors and residents crowd the entertainment venues in the blocks bordered by West Seventh, Bledsoe Street, University Drive and Foch Street.
The large number of visitors creates a significant challenge getting emergency medical resources into the district for medical calls.
Since September 2018, a unique partnership between the bicycle teams from Fort Worth Police Department and MedStar has helped improve patient access to medical resources. MedStar’s Bicycle Emergency Response Team – BERT for short – responds to medical calls in the West Seventh District as requested either through a 911 call, or by Fort Worth police officers on duty in the district.
Since the program was begun, BERT medics have treated 466 patients, with 61% of the patients treated on scene without the need to dispatch an ambulance or fire truck into the entertainment district. This keeps those resources available for other community responses.
The FWPD-MedStar partnership operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., all year long.
MedStar’s BERT members undergo extensive training in bicycle operations through the International Police Mountain Bike Association, especially focusing on navigating in large crowds. Bikes are equipped with all the medical equipment necessary to treat patients suffering from medical or trauma emergencies.