Saving the ambulance service

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

BOKCHITO, Okla. -- Officials in Bokchito met Tuesday in an emergency meeting to discuss the future of the town's ambulance services. State officials are scheduled to inspect the town's ambulance service Wednesday.

Now two residents have volunteered to be on-call 24-7 to make sure the service can continue.

City leaders called the emergency meeting after tabling the issue Monday. They met in executive session and announced the service could continue if someone would volunteer to staff it.

Since last Tuesday, only one person was manning the ambulances. The town had to rely on Bryan County EMS in Durant for emergency calls. Firefighters and first responders would prep a patient, then wait for a Bryan County crew to arrive.

Now two certified EMT's, Cedar Harwood and Justin Whittenburg, who are also Bokchito residents, say they will fill the spots and do whatever is necessary to keep the service.

"Our town could die without this ambulance service,” says Melissa Scott, Bokchito city clerk and EMS worker. “It's a vital part just like the school and the police department and the fire department and all of those things are what help this town what it is."

The two residents say they'll volunteer until the city can work out the paperwork for pay. The state inspector is expected to ask for a schedule and roster of staffing, something city officials say they can confidently provide.

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