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Paramedics on the Field
Norman Regional’s EMSStat paramedics attend every home game treating patients for everything from heat exhaustion to heart attacks.
“We treat a variety of patients. During the games in August and September we’ll see a lot of people that just simply get overheated. They have to climb up and down a lot of stairs, the stadium gets hot, and they haven’t been drinking enough water. We also see quite a few of insect stings and falls,” said Sean Lauderdale, EMSStat crew chief.
OU games usually draw more than 85,000 fans. With that many people it can be hard to get around quickly. The paramedics have a found way to reach patients utilizing fully equipped bicycles. On a busy day, these bike medics may treat in excess of 50 patients.
“The medics usually operate in a team of two, but when it’s really busy they’ll operate independently,” said Kyle Hurley, EMSStat crew chief. “The busiest games amount to about four hours of non-stop calls for service and intense physical activity.”
EMSStat has a staff of 52 people and 23 of those are used on game days to cover the town and the stadium. The five bike medics are stationed throughout the stadium and coordinated by a bike team leader. In addition to the bike medics, there is a medic in the upper deck, an ambulance crew on the field for the athletes and staff, an ambulance staged at the Gomer Jones Cardiac unit for transport, and a Crew Chief to serve as the Incident Commander for EMSStat.
So like many Oklahomans, a paramedic’s life in the fall revolves around college football. Only their view of the game is probably a little different than yours!
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