EMTs recognized during National EMS week

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ARDMORE, OKLA. (KXII) - Emergency medical technicians have taken care of people when they need it most, and the pandemic means we need them now more than ever.

Emergency medical technicians all over the country are recognized for their essential service during National EMS week.

“This is our new normal. Even right now when the community starts to reopen we plan to still be diligent to this cause as possible,” said the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service, SOAS, clinical operations manager Dan McLeod.

McLeod has worked as an EMT for over 15 years, and he says some staff have been with SOAS for over 30 years and each say they haven’t experienced the magnitude to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We want to emphasize with our staff that we put a lot of strain on the system both in call volume and high suspicion of COVID patients around us and extra procedures,” said McLeod.

SOAS and other EMS services around the country are taking new procedures when responding to calls. McLoed says his staff are utilizing reflecting rain gear, gloves, goggles and face masks when interacting with patients.

“They’ve been doing a fantastic job, they’ve truly been wonderful to watch on the front line.” said McLoed. “But especially now in a time of potential danger for EMS providers we still have providers who are ready and willing to answer that call, and that shows their true dedication. Their dedication to honoring the call basically helped me continue on as well.”

McLoed says SOAS is the longest operating service in Oklahoma since setting up in 1962, 12 years before President Gerald Ford declared National EMS week in May.

“As our county and look community start to resume or return to a state of normalcy, it’s very important that we stay diligent to our cause,” said McLoed