Emergency Crews Plot Formula 1 Strategy
Emergency responders from Austin and Travis County got together today in anticipation of the Formula One race this fall. They were considering scenarios such as a person in a bus heading to the race, surrounded by vehicles on a one-way street, who has a heart attack.
“We’ve got you covered,” said James Hall with Austin-Travis County EMS. “We are going to have motorcycles. We are going to have bicycles. We are going to have ambulances, special response vehicles like Gators. So we’ll have a multi-footprint of emergency resources to get you there.”
Officials say they learned valuable lessons in England last week when they visited a Formula 1 race. But Austin Chief of Police Art Acevedo says that when you have about 120,000 fans in an event, you want all layers of responders to be alert and prepared for a worst-case scenario.
“When you are talking about international events, sometimes you get people that may be cousins but may not get along, so you want to make sure that those things don’t catch you flat-footed,” Acevedo said.
More than 200 police officers are expected to be patrolling the first few races. Officials say that once they go live a few times, they will regroup to evaluate whether the resource allocation is appropriate to make all Formula One events successful while keeping the rest of the city and county safe.