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North Texas Medical Experts Learn From Boston Bombings

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas doctor is learning from what happened in Boston last year and using those lessons to better protect runners here in Dallas/Fort Worth. In fact, he’s implemented parts of Boston’s emergency response plan into Fort Worth’s Cowtown Marathon.

Making the changes weren’t much of problem since Dr. Darrin D’Agostino is also the medical director for the Marathon.

Runner Tim Olson was in Boston last year and remembers events on April 15 vividly. “I heard the sound of what we thought were cannons going off.  My first thought was something is not right.”

Olson was just one street over from where the bombs exploded. He had finished the marathon and was waiting for his other half. “My wife was still out on the course so I was extremely concerned.”

Two bombs had exploded near the finish line. “We were very scared and concerned,” he remembered.

What happened in Boston didn’t stop Olson from hitting the paths. While running in last February’s Cowtown Marathon in Forth Worth he noticed some changes. Olson said, “You could tell a definitely stepped up security around Cowtown. It was noticeably different from start to finish.”

Doctor D’Agostino was an integral part of making those changes happen. “The medical portion of any mass sporting event now is forever changed,” he said. “Ever since this happened we all have to pay attention to the ‘what if’s.’”

The D’Agostino implemented in North Texas include:

  • Having medical staff clearly identified with different colored vests and ID badges
  • Making sure all medical staff has radios so everyone can remain in constant contact

“It wasn’t so much that they were prepared for ballistic injuries and turning into a field hospital. What this was was everybody was identifiable and where they were supposed to be.”

Olson says he certainly noticed the changes during the Fort Worth run. Now, as he prepares to leave for Boston, he says he’s looking forward to running again and this time perhaps a little prouder. He said with determination, “We are not going to let fear stand in the way.”

The plan implemented at Cowtown will be used at other marathons in North Texas.

Experts say going forward, similar changes should be expected expect at all marathons.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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