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October 21, 2013

Texas ambulance co. to give rides for medically restricted kids on Halloween

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — MedStar wants to help special kids scare up some goodies on Halloween.

The Fort Worth-based ambulance service is offering to take a few kids who have medical restrictions out trick-or-treating on Halloween in a neighborhood, giving them rides in an ambulance.

Parents will accompany their kids, and will be teamed with a paramedic and an emergency medical technician during the holiday event.

“We are an organization focused on healthcare and improving patients’ experiences, as well as giving back to the community,” said MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky on Sunday. “Children who are receiving medical care often do not have the ability to experience typical ‘kid things’ like trick-or-treating. This is one of the ways we would like to give children the opportunity for some ‘normalcy’ even when things may not be ‘normal’ for them.”

So MedStar is looking for children between the ages of 5 and 15 who would need medical support to be able to go out trick-or-treating.

A MedStar crew will pick up the child and his or her parents at their home and escort them door to door, collecting as many goodies as possible or until a Halloween bag is full.

In some cases, MedStar crews will take the child on a stretcher to each home.

But Zavadsky noted that MedStar will be able to take ony a few kids, about two to three children.

“We would love to offer it to as many kids as possible,” Zavadsky said. “Unfortunately, Halloween evening is typically a very busy time for us. We want to have as many ambulances available as possible to be able to respond to emergency calls that occur during this time.”

Zavadsky said several MedStar employees have offered to come in on their day off to help, so it might be possible that more children could be helped that evening without impacting the ambulance service.

The trick-or-treat event is the first for MedStar, but it has had holiday programs in the past. For several years, MedStar has had a “Home for the Holidays” program on Thanksgiving, in which patients from nursing homes are taken by MedStar to their family home for that holiday meal.

“We wanted to do something special for medically challenged kids in our community,” Zavadsky said. “And Halloween seemed like a perfect fit to help provide some fun and happiness for these kids.”

The event will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Halloween.

Deadline for nomination is Oct. 28 and MedStar officials will determine who is chosen to participate.

MedStar officials are asking for nominations from parents who live or are temporarily living in neighborhoods that are serviced by MedStar. MedStar is the ambulance service provider to 880,000 residents in Fort Worth and 14 other Tarrant County cities.

Children in a hospital or other medical facililty are eligible.

To nominate a child, contact Matt Zavadsky at MZavadsky@medstar911 or call 817-991-4487.

Copyright 2013 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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