EMSA Working To Bring Traveling Paramedics To OKC

EMSA response times have been going up and that can be deadly for those waiting for help. 

Adam Paluka with EMSA told News 9 that the whole healthcare industry is still trying to bounce back after years of dealing with the COVID pandemic. 

“They are tired. They’ve worked long days. Long nights. Call volume has increased,” said Paluka. “With the current staffing numbers that we have we have a ceiling, and we can only put out so many trucks on a given day.” 

In order to fill the roles, EMSA has been looking to hospitals for ideas. 

“For decades hospitals have used traveling nurses to supplement staff in the event that they’re short-staffed in the hospital,” Paluka said. 

EMSA is currently working to enter into a temporary contract with Best Practice Medicine. The organization helps get traveling paramedics into cities that need their help. 

“These medics will have at least two years of experience in an EMS system of similar size and nature of EMSA,” Paluka explained. 

EMSA is required to be 90% compliant when it comes to Priority 1 calls. That means getting there in 10 minutes or less. In July, they were at 51% compliance. 

“They will allow us to staff more trucks, they’ll allow us to respond to emergencies faster and improve our response time compliance,” said Paluka. 

If approved, the contract with Best Practice Medicine would last 180 days. The EMTs would need 60 days of training before they can get to work on EMSA trucks. 

With the help, Paluka said it will give his staff some time to catch their breath. 

“This is also going to enable us to allow more approved paid time off because we’ll have more options to fil some of those shifts,” said Paluka. 

EMSA’s board members will decide if they want to move forward with the partnership next week.  

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