Thursday, August 31, 2023
As the anticipation builds for the first University of Oklahoma home football game against Arkansas State, it's important to keep in mind that this year's kickoff comes with a challenge: soaring temperatures that can pose risks to the health of fans and attendees. Norman Regional Health System's EMSSTAT, the trusted ambulance service under Norman Regional, is here to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience at the game.
Last year's first home game drew attention as over 100 medical calls were made from within the stadium. 90% of these calls were related to dehydration or alcohol consumption, both of which are entirely preventable with the right precautions in place.
OU home football games are the largest standby EMSSTAT does annually. At these games, our team provides rapid response to more than 85,000 spectators. EMSSTAT has eight bike medics (four teams of two), a bike supervisor, two field medics on a John Deer Gator, numerous paramedics strategically placed throughout the stadium and a transport ambulance staged in Gomer Jones.
“With an 11 a.m. kickoff, attendees will be exposed to intense heat and direct sunlight, making preparation essential,” Kyle Hurley, Director of EMSSTAT says.
EMSSTAT’s six key points to remember:
- Hydration Is Your Best Friend: Dehydration is a major concern, and it's not something that can be fixed on game day alone. Start hydrating the night before the game, continue in the morning and maintain your hydration levels during the game. Water is your go-to choice; alcohol, on the other hand, can exacerbate dehydration and is best consumed in moderation.
- Fuel Up: Don't rely solely on hydration; eating a proper meal is equally crucial. A balanced meal before the game can help your body handle the heat and stay energized throughout the tailgate and the game.
- Shield Yourself from the Sun: The blazing sun can take a toll on your skin. Remember to apply generous amounts of sunblock and reapply it periodically. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can provide additional protection. EMSSTAT encourages all ages to wear lots of it.
- Recognize Heat-Related Symptoms: If you or someone around you starts experiencing heat-related symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or weakness, take immediate action. Find shade or a cooler spot, continue hydrating and if the symptoms persist, seek assistance from any personnel in uniform.
- Be a Good Friend: Keep an eye out for your companions. If anyone shows signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, don't hesitate to take action. Many individuals try to "tough it out" by retreating to restroom stalls, which can be unsafe. Instead, get help if needed.
- Utilize Medical Facilities and Cooling Stations: The Gomer Jones medical facility, situated by Gate 6 in Section 19, is ready to provide medical assistance if required. Additionally, cooling stations are strategically placed throughout the stadium. When in doubt, approach any individual in uniform for medical aid.
Learn more about the Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on the Sooner Sports website.
EMSSTAT Preparedness Training
Cardiac arrest on the football field or amidst the crowd is a scenario that no one wishes to witness. Nevertheless, acknowledging its potential, we're committed to being fully equipped to safeguard our players, spectators and students as we gear up for the much-awaited 2023 football season.
In early August, a collaborative effort between Norman Regional EMSSTAT, Norman Fire Department and OU Football staff came to fruition through emergency preparedness training. This comprehensive training encompassed crucial drills focused on handling cardiac arrest situations effectively.
As you head out there to enjoy the game and the vibrant atmosphere, rest assured that safety remains paramount. We stand prepared and vigilant, ready to lend a hand whenever it's needed.
The Norman Regional Health System and EMSSTAT are dedicated to ensuring your safety and well-being during the game. By following these guidelines, you can join the excitement of the game while staying prepared and protected against the sweltering temperatures. Enjoy the game responsibly, stay hydrated and cheer on your team in good health! BOOMER!
Norman Regional Walk-In Clinics
For those seeking immediate attention, Norman Regional offers two convenient and affordable Walk-In clinics offering same-day appointments. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, providing patients with easy access to medical care.
The Norman Regional Nine Walk-In clinic is located at 2000 Ann Branden Blvd. Suite 201 in Norman. The Norman Regional Moore Walk-In clinic is located at 700 S. Telephone Rd. Suite 201 in Moore. No appointments are needed – just walk right in! Or schedule an immediate appointment online.
Learn more about Norman Regional’s Walk-In Clinics on our website.
Norman Regional Emergency Departments
Norman Regional operates four Emergency Room locations that are open 24 hours seven days a week.
The commitment of Norman Regional is focused on attentive communication with patients, families and staff, ensuring the fulfillment of promises, and promoting care and a healthy environment. The hospital's emergency department is highly active, delivering rapid and comprehensive care by certified medical professionals.
They offer various services, including X-rays, CAT scans, cardiac monitoring and more. The hospital is recognized for its trauma and cardiac care, patient safety and innovative initiatives. The Norman Regional HealthPlex hospital specializes in chest pain care, while Norman Regional Nine is a comprehensive healthcare facility offering emergency services, primary care, specialties, diagnostics and more, including a focus on COVID-19 safety.
Emergency Room locations:
Norman Regional Nine 2000 Ann Branden Blvd. Norman, OK 73071 | 405-515-1000
Norman Regional Hospital 901 N. Porter Ave. Norman, OK 73071 | 405-307-1000
Norman Regional HealthPlex 3300 HealthPlex Parkway Norman, OK 73072 | 405-515-1000
Norman Regional Moore 700 S. Telephone Rd. Moore, OK 73160 | 405-793-9355