On July 31 I mounted my bicycle at the trail head parking lot on the east end of the River Trail and headed out. In less than half a mile, I saw a female runner collapsed on the trail. There was an older man, maybe no older than me, standing by her. Two female cyclists were talking to him. He said he had called it in. I asked if she was breathing, he said yes. 

So since he was staying with her, I left thinking all was good.

So further west down the trail, maybe 1 mile, I met a golf-cart ambulance headed toward her. Then at the G street parking lot was a EMS ambulance, parked, and two EMT’s with a stretcher who appeared to be heading back toward the woman. The other two female cyclists and I spoke with them and told them how far away she was. 

So after completing my ride to the end, on the return ride I met a fire department pickup and they were loading up the golf cart ambulance on a trailer. 

I stopped and talked to the EMTs. They said the battery played out on the golf cart ambulance. They actually said they needed a gas-powered model but the city gave them the battery model.

The caller did send first responders to the wrong place at first, so I partially blame him. But there are not enough noticeable trail markings on that trail to be able to call 911 and give an accurate location.

So, poorly marked trail, uninformed caller to 911, and battery-operated golf cart — the perfect trifecta to die on the trail, in my opinion.

How do we fix this?

Ken Bowen, Kerrville

 

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(1) comment

Carlos Richter

The trail is marked every quarter of a mile. In addition to the distance markers, we could say when talking to emergency personel, "I am east of or downstream from G St about a quarter mile." or "I am west or upstream about a quarter mile from G St.".

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