Prepared for Any Event
Norman Regional’s paramedics are trained and equipped to provide emergency care for our citizens and law enforcement officers during natural disasters, hazardous material incidents and violent situations.
EMSSTAT maintains a 12-medic disaster response team, which is ready at all times to deploy anywhere in the state and be self-sufficient for 72 hours without resupply. Disaster team medics work under the expectation that they may be deployed for up to 14 days before relief.
They respond to events with several highly specialized vehicles, including:
- Two all-terrain vehicles (ATV)
- F-550 utility truck with towing, winching, goose neck, ball hitch and off-road capabilities
- 24-foot public safety trailer as a mobile medics quarters
- 38-foot disaster trailer equipped to deploy and support a field hospital capable of treating more than 150 victims; also provides command-post functions including a mast-mounted camera for situational awareness, high speed Wi-Fi, interoperable radio system and onboard weather station.
Our disaster team has deployed to numerous events including the May 20, 2013, tornado in Moore and the 2010 microburst of severe weather in Norman.
EMSSTAT responds to hazardous materials (HAZMAT) incidents — including chemical, radiological, explosive, nuclear and biological events — to provide medical screening, decontamination and treatment for responders and victims. EMSSTAT is unique among ambulance services in that we participate in hot, warm and cold zone operations (or contaminated, decontamination and support areas, respectively). We function as part of Norman Regional’s Emergency Response Team and the Homeland Security Region 6 Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Response Team and deploy with the city of Norman Fire Department, the Moore/Norman HAZMAT task force and the U.S. Army 63rd Civil Support Team.
Most of our medics have been trained in hazardous materials response. Medics also receive Advanced HAZMAT Life Support training, covering all aspects of patient care for people who have been contaminated by hazardous materials. Many of these medics are sent each year to additional weeklong training opportunities in through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Homeland Security grants. Our HAZMAT-trained medics in turn help to train Norman Regional Health System employees in decontamination of patients.
EMSSTAT medics are crucial in helping Norman Regional Health System and the community prepare for critical situations.
Tactical Paramedics for SWAT
EMSSTAT’s tactical paramedics team provides emergency medical coverage to the Norman Police SWAT team and the Hazardous Device Unit (bomb squad) during operations such as hostage situations, active shooter incidents and bomb threats. The tactical medics are not armed but are equipped with body armor and Kevlar helmets for protection. They train every month with the SWAT team to retain elite skills in tactical operations, evacuation of casualties, medicine across a barrier, wound closure, bomb-suit extraction and blast injury, as well as illness recognition and treatment to keep the SWAT operators battle-ready.
Patrick Cody, DO, MPH, FACOEP, is the SWAT team physician and trains with the SWAT team often. He provides oversight for all medical aspects of the tactical medic program.