The Orlando terror attack struck close to home for MedStar’s Public Affairs Director, Matt Zavadsky.
“I became very concerned” says Zavadsky.
Before moving to Fort Worth, Zavadsky was Orlando’s EMS Director, and knows many of the paramedics who responded to the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub.
“As long as I know they’re safe, and everybody that I know that I’ve talked to are safe, it’s a little bit of a relief”, says Zavadsky, “but it still makes your heart skip a beat when you realize how close it could have been to you”.
“You never think about that in America’s playground”, says Zavadsky, but then thinking about what does that mean here in the Fort Worth area if that were to happen at one of our iconic locations”.
Just last summer, Medstar trained alongside Fort Worth police and firefighters to prepare for an attack by an active shooter.
“That training has been invaluable for us because we know it’s just a matter of time before we have some type of a situation here” says Zavasky.
The response would start with the first 9-1-1 call to MedStar’s dispatch center.
“The first thing we do is our dispatch center will call all of the area hospitals and they’ll ask them how many minor patients, serious patients, critical patients can you take right now” says MedStar Operations Supervisor Marshall Sharp.
Medical teams in Dallas are also prepared to possible terror attacks.
“We have some advantages here”, says Dr. Paul Pepe, Director of Medical Emergency Services for the City of Dallas.
“We have multiple trauma centers here being a large city, we have a well-integrated public safety system where police, fire and ems work together”, says Dr. Pepe, ““in fact we have physicians who are part of swat teams as well”.