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OKbits Files Pawnee Chief, Pawnee Co., OK 1983 - 1992

by Rita Buford rbcats@yahoo.com
With Permission From D. Jo Ferguson, Publisher Of Pawnee Chief

December 17, 1987 - Pawnee Chief

Ambulance Available
The town of Pawnee should be proud of its Ambulance service. Over the years it has grown and developed to meet the needs of our town and anyone who is unfortunately in need of emergency medical care.
The ambulance service is employed and mostly funded by the City as a part of the Fire Department. Until 1968 it was part of Poteet Funeral Home. The Poteets were the last in this area to follow the trend and the mayor agreed to take it over for the city. Ambulances and equipment were sparse at this time, but Mr. POTEET had the top equipment available. The attendants and volunteers had little training then. The Highway Patrol gave a basic self-help course, which sufficed until 1975. The the state started making rules and guidelines to help improve and regulate the industry. Oklahoma Trauma and Research Center in Tulsa began offering Emergency Medical Training courses.
Ambulance drivers are now called First Responders. They are required to have a number of hours in Basic Life Support like Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Infant Delivery. Every ambulance carries a responder and 1 or 2 EMT's aboard. If the call is an Emergency than a Responder and 2 EMT's go out. The EMT's receive training through the Vo-Techs of the Oklahoma Fire Service Training in Stillwater. They receive 125 hours or more in training to handle all possible types of medical emergencies. These standards must be met to receive licensing from the Oklahoma Health Department.
The Pawnee Ambulance Service now has 6 responders and 6 EMT's. There are only 4 regularly salaried employees. They are paid through the Fire Department. The others are volunteer staff members who are paid by the ambulance runs they make. Each member of the service has times when they are scheduled to be on call, but being a part of the ambulance gang usually means you are on call all the time and at anytime. Pagers are carried so that the Department can contact any member at any time.
A call to 762-3336 may be answered by Frank REED, who became a volunteer in 1963. His 24 years of experience helps in may ways. He has seen the state set up the rules, change the regulations, mandate the qualifications and update the system. He helps with the physical operation, mans the phone and tries to figure out how much money will be budgeted for the next fiscal year.
Together with the city officials the ambulance system is working in and for Pawnee.
Pawnee Municipal Hospital would like to thank Frank REED, Billy RILEY, Kevein RADLEY, Thelma RODGERS, Sonny TULL, Don SPEICHER and Joe ALLENBAUGH for the great job they are doing for the community.
Thanks to James NOVOTNY who works for the Fire Department but pitches in part-time when help is needed.
If you have been helped by these brave people, why not write them and tell them how you appreciate them being available and caring enough for Pawnee that they would train for this challenge. Write: Information Please, Box 345, Pawnee, Oklahoma 74058. Show you Care!

September 1999: Submitted by Thelma Rodger's daughter, Rita BUFORD. My sons can attest to the fact that their grandmother is on call. Seems each time they visit Pawnee and go out for lunch or dinner, her pager goes off and she is off to the fire station. She has been an EMT in Pawnee since 1983 and thoroughly enjoys her calling. Mom is now 63 years old. rbcats@yahoo.com

Rita Buford

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