Remembering the EMS Family The past month has been a tough one for those of us in the EMS profession. We were all saddened by the loss of James Postoak, a beloved member of the EMSA family and respected supervisor. I had the honor of speaking with James’s mother and friends after the funeral and they wanted me to express to all of you their gratitude for your support during this difficult time. Also during the past month our brothers and sisters in Texas suffered a huge loss in the town of West, Texas. The small town of West lost 12 first responders in a fertilizer plant explosion. We would also be remiss if we did not remember those that responded to the bombings in Boston as well. One police officer lost his life and another was critically injured in the apprehension of the suspects. The EMS agencies in Boston made us proud, they showed the world what we do every day by rushing in to help those in need. As we prepare for EMS week, I believe this year’s motto is very fitting. The slogan, “One Team. One Mission.” is something we live everyday here in Oklahoma. Not only do we work well within our EMS community, we have proven what an EMS system can do when we work across agency boundaries for a common goal. I am positive if James or anyone of the 12 responders from West were here today they would want nothing more than for us to continue doing what we do best, serving our communities. While our EMS community has definitely been shaken over these past few weeks, I have no doubt we will move on and continue to fulfill the mission.
John Smith Director of Operations Eastern Division Page 1 Page 1
From the Desk of the COO So far spring has given us a nice warm welcome this year with freezing rain and ice in Oklahoma City and unusually cool temperatures throughout the country. While I know I am looking forward to warmer weather it is that time of year where severe storms are to be expected. Please make sure your families and loved ones know what to do in the event of a severe storm or tornado and have an emergency plan in place. John Peterson As I am sure those of you in the Western Division are aware, we have COO made a recent change in the leadership of the communications center. Tony McCarty will be filling in as the interim communications manager until we are through the bid process for the EMSA contract. At that time management will reassess the position and hire a permanent communications manager. With 37 years of experience in the EMSA system and many years as a supervisor, Mr. McCarty is well qualified for this leadership role. Thank you for your dedication to our employees, Tony!
We are in the process of revitalizing the scheduling department to better serve each division. By the time you read this newsletter, our schedulers will be on a Monday through Friday work schedule. The director of operations in each division will oversee the department for their respective division. Kasey Larue will remain as the scheduling supervisor over both divisions and she will report to Joe Wallace in OKC and John Smith in Tulsa. The purpose of this is to have a scheduling department in each division that is responsible for that division. If you are in OKC you will no longer have to call someone in Tulsa to schedule your shifts and vice versa. I want to personally thank Carey Crump and Stephanie Buckner for their hard work in what is surely one of the toughest jobs in the company. When you see them, thank them for what they do. The last few weeks have been filled with many emotions after the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Texas. It is amazing to see the country rally together and come to those in need. We are all part of a greater EMS family that will continue to rise to the call. As many of you know, the Eastern Division lost a beloved supervisor and friend. James Postoak will be greatly missed by many coworkers and friends. We are all deeply saddened, but know his legacy will live on through his friends and family. May 19-25 is EMS Week and both divisions are working on plans to help celebrate. Shirts have been ordered and Family Day has been planned. Our committees are finishing up the final details with the area hospitals to ensure we have the best week possible. Thanks for all of your hard work! As always, be safe out there!
Colonel Tony McCarty (right) stood alongside Oklahoma City officials proudly representing EMSA last month during a press conference where Mayor Mick Cornett assured citizens Oklahoma City’s Memorial Run would not be canceled in the aftermath of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.
by John Graham, NREMT-P Director, Support Services
The medication D50 is still on backorder with no firm date given as to when it will be made available. We have purchased compounded D50, which is now in both OKC and Tulsa. The D50 is handmade and has no preservatives, therefore it will expire very quickly. Most of our medications have anywhere from 1-3 year expiration dates. With the new D50, it expires in less than three months. When giving D50, if you have a choice of using the compounded or regular D50 please use the compounded. We need to make sure it’s used prior to the expiration date. Hopefully we will be in better shape in the coming months. Thank you for everything you do for your community. Page 3
by Joe Wallace Director of Operations, Western Division
Well, as I type this, the news is on in the background and the coverage of the horrific events surrounding the Boston Marathon rambles on and on. I can’t help but think of the responders involved. Human nature creates a feeling of sorrow for victims and loved ones, but being part of this profession stirs an emotion felt for those responders. I’d like to first say that we are a family – all of us in this line of work. We’ve always taken care of each other and we always will. Of course, this immediately impacts us and I want you to all know how much I appreciate what you do, what you see, and, for those not involved directly in patient care, what you have to hear. It’s not easy to see suffering on a daily basis, and even tougher to see it on a grand scale during such events. By the time you read this, our marathon will have come and gone. Here’s to it being uneventful, but always stay aware and stay safe. April 19 will have passed before this goes to print as well. To the handful of people who are still here and had to witness the tragedy of the Murrah Building bombing, I thank you for your continued service to our citizens, fellow responding agencies and to all of our coworkers. If you have contact with those who have moved on, reach out to them on occasion. We’re all part of this family and deserve to have those small reunions from time to time. To those of you reading this who came along after 1995 (I know, I know… some of us are old), thanks for joining us on this crazy ride! I hope we never have to share that kind of experience. But if we do, I know I’ve got the best by my side. I’ve spent many years not talking much about that day, but I don’t mind doing so and if you’re curious, don’t hesitate to stop in and chat. All this goes to say that we pull from each other. We lean on each other. We learn from each other. And we make each other better. If tragedy can’t tear us apart, then daily strife certainly can’t. This year’s EMS Week theme is “One Team. One Mission.” This should be our thought process year round. I can’t do this without all of you. And, I certainly hope you all can’t do this without me! So, happy EMS Week to everyone with EMSA/Paramedics Plus! And happy EMS Week to everyone in our extended family. We’re all in this together. Page 4
EMSA Medics Reunite with Cardiac Survivor EMSA’s cardiac arrest survival rates in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are some of the best in the world. Heart attack survivor Don Houston is living proof. Don Houston was asleep in bed on Dec. 17 when his heart stopped beating. His wife, Rita, woke from the sounds of Don’s death rattle. She called 911. Over the phone, EMSA dispatchers gave her life saving pre-arrival CPR instructions as EMSA paramedics and first responders raced to the scene. When EMSA paramedic Frankie Burch and EMT Carey Crump arrived, Don’s pulse was fading in and out. The medics defibrillated Don three separate times attempting to stabilize his heartbeat. On arrival at the hospital, Don was in critical condition. He spent 48 hours unconscious in ICU before he began a miraculous recovery. Doctors say EMSA dispatchers and medics were a vital Medics Frankie Burch (left) and Casey Crump (right) are link in his chain of survival. thanked by cardiac survivor Don Houston and his wife, Rita.
Last month medics Frankie and Carey were reunited with their patient now living a full and happy life. Don says the dispatcher and medics were all angels sent to save his life. Congrats Frankie and Carey! You make EMSA proud.
Blessed Bears Given to EMSA for Injured Children Last month EMSA medics collected hundreds of ‘blessed’ bears from preschoolers at New Hope Church in Oklahoma City. The children of the congregation carried the bears single file to the EMSA medics waiting outside in the EMSA ambulance. The children then toured the inside of the ambulance. Throughout the month, the New Hope Church congregation collected then blessed hundreds of stuffed animals for paramedics to give to sick and injured children. The bears are important for EMSA medics to help diagnose injuries on a child who may be traumatized during an emergency.
Paramedic Danielle Cain collects bears from New Hope Church.
“Sometimes children are too scared and are unable to communicate where they’re hurting,” said Paramedic Danielle Cain. “We ask the child to point to the place on the bear where they might feel pain. It’s a life saving tool during a pediatric emergency.”
Medics Present Seven-Year-Old with Award of Excellence Seven-year-old Caiden Rollins got a special house call from Oklahoma City medics. EMSA medics Carey Crump and Holly Westin presented Caiden with an EMSA Award of Excellence. Caiden called 911 when his mom was having a stroke. He was able to stay calm and give EMSA System Status controllers all of the information necessary to get first responders to the scene. Caiden stayed by his mother's side until paramedics and fire fighters were able to begin critical care. Carey and Holly said Caiden was even able to pack his mother's bag to go to the hospital. Kudos to Caiden for his ability to help his mother in her time of need.
EMS Week Photo Contest In honor of EMS Week May 19-25, EMSA is asking you to show us what the EMS Week motto “One Team. One Mission.” means by taking a picture that illustrates how EMSA is one family working toward the same goal.
To submit a photo in the contest simply: 1. Write "One Team. One Mission." on a sheet of paper with a Sharpie. 2. Find something that represents how EMSA is one team with one mission (like you and your partner in front of your truck). 3. Hold the sign in the picture and snap a photo. 4. Send the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or text to 918-345-0081. Photo submissions will be accepted now through May 25 with the winner announced on May 28. The winning photo will be displayed as the cover photo on EMSA’s Facebook page and on the front cover of the June On Scene newsletter. The owner of the winning entry will also receive a $50 QT card.
Rules and considerations: 1. Photos can be taken during working hours but no patients can be used in the photo per HIPPA regulations. 2. Any lewd or suggestive images will be disqualified and disciplinary action may occur. 3. All qualifying images are subject to EMSA's use on social media platforms and may be shared with the public. 4. Contest is only open to current EMSA employees.
Meet Your Coworkers
Robert Reno, EMT-P, Eastern Division How many years in EMS?
Twelve years. I started in the summer of 2001. I was a little older than most but I’m glad I did it.
How long have you lived in Tulsa?
Seventeen years. We moved here from my home state of Louisiana.
What inspired you to get in this field?
I’m old enough to have watched “Emergency” with John and Roy when it first came on TV and I always wanted to do what they did.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Helping people that really need to be helped. And EMSA is a great place to do that. When I went to England for my daughter’s wedding I had the opportunity to meet some paramedics over there. They knew about EMSA and were very impressed by it and they have one of the best EMS services in the world. That’s saying something.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Knowing EMS doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
What do you do to de-stress?
I just like spending time with my family. When you do this job you come to realize just how short life is so I want to spend it with people I care about.
What type of experience/training do you have in EMS?
Basically just about every type of call you can have. Twelve years is a long time in EMS especially in a system like this. I’ve delivered babies and had code saves and had some of the worst trauma you can imagine. I’ve been thanked and cursed and everything in between.
What do you love about Tulsa?
The people. There is also some great culture here if you look for it.
What do you dislike about Tulsa?
It’s too flat. I lived in Arkansas for several years and fell in love with the mountains. I have the same complaint about Louisiana. It’s even flatter than Oklahoma!
May 2013 Anniversaries
Years of Employment
James H. Williams II Craig J. Ryan Joshua D. Conrad Erica A. Elkins Peter J. Radford Jason S. Gallagher Matthew Ruskoski Rick Gottschalk William Corey Richter Tyler Adamek Eric Denissen Shannon Sallaway Aaron Vancamp Brian Bottom Jennifer Massey
Birthdays Zachary T. Ingram Jennifer Massey Michael Ward Phil A. Collins Kip A. Koonce Yeganeh Azimi Noelle Gettemy John A. Kenney Joseph Triplett Rolla F. Forcum Mary Mulford Jessica Stevenson Daniel Kirkpatrick Jason Pittman Seth A. Zimmer James Smith Raymond Farrow Mark Laws Adam Ashford David Mossman Thomas Zoch Francecha Burch Amanda Hamlin Lacie J. Smith Garrett Hastings Christian Merrifield Morgan Peck Maurice E. Cossart Edward W. Potter Mitchell A. Buck
1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4
Thomas Boggs Kenneth Baker Cynthia Aguilar Richard McCreary Heather Fields Tori Spencer Jacob Tollette Stephanee Corbet Jacqueline Warman Steven Jensen Mary Gruber Brent Lamb Rafe Morris Joshua Moll Christian Perry
4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 8
Nicholas E. Thayer Brian Bottom Matthew Erickson James Heller Kofi Wallace Elizabeth Bragan Michael Gauldin Ashley Holt Troy Mead Jacob Trevino Brittney Little Brenda Williams Stephanie Jensen Tori Spencer Jana R. Lozier Timothy Shepherd Blair Smith Stephen Dean Amitha Shipman Stephanie Buckner Jesse Palmer James Winham Cody Cluck Charles Redden Tristan Hall Carlos Mora Crystal D. Tucker Jo Ann Williams Lori Daniels
17 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 21 21 22 22 24 24 24 25 25 26 26 27 29 29 30 30 30 30 31
Christopher Elsten Christina R. Gibson Michael Eaton Stephanie Britt Alfred Zeilinger James McClung Daniel M. Whipple Michael Williams Faith Chambers Marlys Coffey Thomas A McMahan Jerry Pursley Kathleen P. Miller Paul L. Shipley
8 9 9 9 9 9 9 11 11 12 21 23 23 32
Day 1 2 2 3 3 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 10 11 11 11 13 13 13 14 14 15 16 16 17
East Kudos Matt Cox Katheryn Gaulding Kourtney Roop Kasey Larue Mark Laws Kathleen Necessary Chase Coate Melissa Hudson Sean Elsten Jason Whitlow Rebecca Williams Jordan Colley Troy Mead Mike Stefko