By Yona Gavino
 Contingent Of First Responders Keeping July Fourth Event Safe

MedStar at FW July Fourth (Yona Gavino – CBS11)

FORT WORTH (CBS11) – Hundreds packed into Panther Island Pavilion for Fort Worth’s Fourth of July celebration.

Many found plenty of places to find relief from the heat.

“Any police, fire, EMS people that they see out here will be more than happy to direct them to the first aid tents,” said MedStar Operations Supervisor Eric Lasley.

A team of 14 first responders make up MedStar’s special events crew.  They expect to stay busy through the evening as most of their calls will be for fatigue and heat-related issues.

They will also be using what they call “mules,” which are specially-equipped ATVs.

“The ATV is smaller. It can get through streets ambulances can’t drive around. It can navigate through large crowds,” said Lasley.

While they have the equipment to weave through a crowd of thousands, finding the patient is a different story.

“I think the biggest challenge today is going to be that there’s no addresses,” said Lasley. “Typically on a 911 call, we have one. This is, ‘I’m next to the tree over yonder.'”

The crews are also prepared to make sure first responders don’t end up responding to one of their own.

“The number one thing I keep reiterating is stay hydrated. We have a cooler full of water and Gatorade just for our staff,” said Lasley. “That’s the first rule of EMS – take care of yourself so you can take care of others.”

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