Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter
Fort Worth's MedStar Emergency Medical Services played host to a group from a British ambulance service in North Texas to learn how to improves its systems.
Fort Worth-based MedStar Ambulance Services is receiving some international attention this week.
A group for a British ambulance service is in town learning how it can improve its operations.
Five executives from the South East Coast Ambulance Service, operating south of London, are looking at how MedStar schedules and deploys its ambulances and at MedStar's patient care.
"They're (the executives) looking to compare themselves and test themselves against other ambulance services that are in the kind of state themselves, a state of good performance and high clinical excellence," said Tony Thorne, SECAmb board chair. "Take stock on where we are, compare and hopefully kick on from where we are today."
And they came to Fort Worth because of MedStar's reputation, not just in Texas and the United States, but around the world.
"We know internationally you're one of the best renown systems, so that's why we're over here," said Paul Sutton, SECAmb chief executive.
While there are differences in how the two ambulance services are funded what vehicles they drive, the quality of care and system management are fairly similar. SECAmb wants to fine-tune its operation and is looking at how MedStar runs its high-efficiency EMS program.
"We're learning a hell of a lot from Fort Worth in terms of the high-performing EMS system delivery," Sutton said. "It's the operational deployment, efficiencies, high performance in how we deploy our services, but it's also the clinical treatment in the back of the ambulance and how we can really aspire to match or exceed international best practices, some of which we see here in Fort Worth."
SECAmb is specifically looking at how MedStar handles trauma and cardiac arrest patients.
And MedStar is getting something out of this, too.
"Many of the things we've implemented here, we've actually borrowed from the United Kingdom," said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman. "Our community health program, our nurse triage program, they've been doing in the UK. This is the opportunity to give back some of that exchange information."
The two services also will stay in touch and, ideally, improve each other.
"We think together, we can start cracking some of the problems to improve the service that we jointly provide to our populations," Sutton said.
Whether that population is four million Brits or nearly a million Texans, the exchanging of information is all about better service. And it should reassure Fort Worth area residents on what kind of service they already have.
"The patients and the people that we service in the Fort Worth area -- 15 cities -- should be very pleased that people come from all over the world to see an EMS system that is serving them 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Zavadsky said.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service will see some of the Olympic Games later this month. Sutton said the Olympic Village and the road bike course are in their area of operation.