Cowtown Takes Over MedStar Ambulance Services

MedStar ambulance with Fort Worth Fire Department Engine | Image by MedStar
MedStar ambulance with Fort Worth Fire Department Engine | Image by MedStar

Cowtown will take over MedStar’s ambulance services following several months of discussion.

The Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously this week to allow the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD) to take over MedStar’s ambulance services.

MedStar has provided emergency and non-emergency ambulance services for 15 Tarrant County cities since 1986. According to MedStar, the ambulance serves over 436 square miles, over 1.1 million residents, and responds to over 200,000 calls annually.

Council Member Carlos Flores of District 2 said the discussion began in April when Mayor Mattie Parker proposed that the Ad Hoc Council Committee on Emergency Medical Services develop a plan to respond to the city’s growing needs.

This new plan will make current MedStar employees members of FWFD.

“The landscape of EMS services has changed drastically, Flores said. “We’re here to change the system to a sustainable model. We owe that to the taxpayers of the City of Fort Worth. The fire department stands ready and is collaborating with our MedStar partners and member cities to make this happen, and we will continue to work at it.”

Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis has made it his mission to make the transition seamless.

“I want to make sure the clear message sent to everyone is that the public should see no disruption in any way, shape, or form in service delivery,” Davis said, according to Fox 4 KDFW. “We are honored that they would trust us with the responsibility.”

Davis noted that MedStar currently has around 450 employees who will now be considered civil service employees.

“We are truly committed to making you part of the city, and we’re excited to have you,” Council Member Elizabeth Beck of District 9 told MedStar employees during the meeting.

The switch will cost the city $10 million, per NBC 5 DFW, where the average response time is expected to drop from over 13 minutes to eight minutes.

“The end user of the product should see nothing different other than, as time goes on, a better, more reliable delivery of services to them,” Davis told NBC 5.

The transition is expected to take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

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