First responders face obstacles during F1 paving projects

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 12:06 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - As crews work to re-pave Las Vegas Boulevard in preparation for November’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, the scarcity of lanes on the already-congested Strip is making a local ambulance service has to adjust.

“We’ve really honed in on that area,” Glen Simpson, senior director of Community Ambulance, said Tuesday. “We’ve really paid attention to that area.”

Community Ambulance has been serving the Strip area since January. Simpson says there are unique adjustments he has to make for such a crowded area during a project on the scale of a Formula One race.

“With the construction, that closest, most appropriate unit may not be the one that it was several weeks ago when all those roads were open,” he explained.

If Simpson’s service is chosen for the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, he also has to figure out what happens after a patient gets picked up during an event expected to pack 100,000 people into the area around the track.

“We’re strategic in the flow of patients from that congested area to the hospitals,” Simpson said. “Part of the responsibility that we owe to our community is that we don’t overwhelm our hospital systems.”

Simpson tells FOX5 he’s confident the event will be handled well because of Las Vegas’ track record in similar situations.

“We have the ability to host events in all sizes and all scales,” he said. “And we have the ability to do it in a safe manner.”

“This is the Entertainment Capital of the World. We have an obligation to live up to that. You can trust that those in public safety are here to ensure that this is the safest entertainment capital in the entire world.”

Simpson says there are blueprints he’s been using to see what works best when Las Vegas Boulevard is closed to traffic and extremely crowded with people, like on New Year’s Eve and during the Las Vegas Aces’ championship parade.

Paving on The Strip is scheduled to wrap up May 19, with a second round scheduled for July.