Oklahoma City EMSA and Thunder player Paul George have teamed up to help metro children.
A mini-version of the NBA player is now in all EMSA ambulances. George’s foundation Shadow Buddies donated the “Super Buddy” dolls to help children get through traumatic emergency situations.
At the start of his shift, EMSA employee Lawrence Kirkendoll ensures the trucks are well stocked with supplies and equipment. He has recently added “Super Buddy” to his routine. Kirkendoll makes sure there are at least three dolls in each ambulance.
“I usually take one and put it in the seat belt,” said Kirkendoll. “So, it kind of reminds the crews, and also they have a riding buddy.”
The dolls are on hand for paramedics to give children at emergency scenes.
“Anytime an ambulance is called for them or a loved one that they’re in connection with,” said Colin Roy, EMSA employee. “It’s very, very scary.”
This is the second year for Super Buddies to be riding in Oklahoma City and Tulsa EMSA units. Roy said the idea for the dolls comes from a personal experience that George experienced as a child.
“From what I understand, Paul George growing up had a sick mom who had to take frequent rides to the hospital,” said Roy. “This was his way to give back to the children who may be in similar circumstances.”
George’s foundation added something new to the mix this year, a cape and mask will be given to small heroes.
“Often we get into a situation where a child has made a difference for somebody during an emergency scene,” said Roy. “Whether they’ve made a phone call or answered questions really good from dispatchers to render really good care.”
Each doll comes with a card with information on how kids can connect with the NBA player. They can submit their personal "Super Buddy" stories and pictures for him to see online.