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Irving Weekly Title

Fort Worth, Texas News

Fort Worth City Council Approves New EMS System

The Fort Worth City Council has approved recommendations from the EMS Ad Hoc Committee to establish an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system within the Fort Worth Fire Department. The new system aims to ensure financially sustainable, responsive, timely, and high-quality patient care for residents and visitors.

Background: In 2023, the City of Fort Worth recognized the rising costs of EMS delivery and stagnant revenues affecting the MedStar EMS delivery model. An Ad Hoc Council Committee on Emergency Medical Response was formed to find a solution for the EMS system's long-term viability and efficiency. The City hired Fitch & Associates to conduct a comprehensive study of the EMS system, reviewing operational performance, personnel, fiscal performance, and governance.

Findings and Recommendations: The EMS Ad Hoc Committee held public meetings where Fitch & Associates presented their findings. In April 2024, Fitch provided a final report with recommendations, which include:

  • Removing interfacility transports from the 911 call system and privatizing them.
  • Shifting primary governance to the City under the Fort Worth City Council.
  • Creating advisory boards to represent member cities, first responders, and medical aspects of patient care.
  • Establishing service-level agreements with participating member cities.
  • Creating single-role civilian positions within the Fire Department.
  • Maintaining independent medical direction separate from the Fire Department.

Implementation: Fitch & Associates will manage the transition from MedStar to the Fort Worth Fire Department, expected to take 12 to 18 months. This includes a communications plan for stakeholders and end users of the EMS system.

Next Steps: The Fort Worth City Council will create two advisory boards, the EMS Advisory Board and the Medical Control Board, and will enter agreements with member cities to transition the EMS system. The City will continue meeting with MedStar member cities to align on the next steps.

Assistant City Manager Valerie Washington stated, “We are happy to transition this to the City of Fort Worth’s Fire Department. It is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to improving processes and making it an easy transition for all involved. We know it will take a lot of work, but we’re excited to get this process moving forward.”

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