State Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Goodloe sat down with News 9’s Erica Rankin to discuss the challenges the EMS system is and has been facing.
He also gave an inside look at a current EMSA academy, with EMTs and paramedics, that will be hitting the streets in the coming weeks after they get credentialed.
"You'll notice this morning we really didn't talk about medication or the dosing of those," said Goodloe.
That is because most of that has been accomplished in their schooling and will be reinforced in their six to eight weeks in the academy.
Goodloe's goal in talking to new EMSA recruits was to give them a sense of the bigger picture.
"There are no easy days in EMS," said Goodloe. "This is a practice of medicine that brings care to wherever someone is at."
He also wanted to make sure that he talked with the recruits to show them there is a team of EMS physicians backing them, who are there to help them whenever they need it.
Statewide the EMS system responds to around 250,000 calls per year. A large number that Goodloe doesn't want the team to get lost in.
“Every single one of those calls represents a person," said Goodloe. "A person that is important."
Recruits were also reminded that when they arrive to help, it is most likely that person's worst or one of the worst days of their life.
"We want people connected to that patient to know that we truly care," said Goodloe.
But retaining and recruiting this year hasn't been easy due to the amount of exhaustion and stress the past 18 months have brought. Paramedics and EMTs have been working in chaotic environments dealing with COVID-19 and hospitals being at capacity.
EMSA is offering large sign on bonuses, plus holding academies every month in OKC and Tulsa to add more team members.
"Please thank your EMTs and paramedics when you see them because we need them," said Goodloe.