ATCEMS staffs, stocks a 'city within a city' for giant festival

The SXSW effort includes stationing 20 EMS providers downtown, a patient collection point and keeping ambulances available


By Leila Merrill

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-Travis County EMS has set up “a city within in a city” to handle the influx of people who attend South by Southwest, as well as for the spring festival season, CBS Austin reported.

"For SXSW, what we like to do is set up a city within in a city," said Wesley Hopkins, interim assistant chief for Austin Travis County emergency medical services, "You don't want to touch the 911 system or pull ambulances out neighborhoods, so we put medics on motorcycles, Polaris rangers."

The annual tech, music, film and art festival runs through March 20. More than 400,000 people attended it in 2019, according to KVUE.

The agency's effort includes stationing 20 EMS providers downtown, a patient collection point and keeping ambulances available.


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