The Bryan County EMS (BCEMS) was established in 1980. BCEMS has two ambulances running in Durant daily and one in Calera.
These ambulances along with the Colbert EMS and East Bryan County EMS in Bokchito, give life support services to all of Bryan County.
BCEMS main office has been located at 306 S. 22nd Ave. in Durant since 1994. There is also an office in Calera to reduce response time to calls further from Durant.
According to Captain Dave McGehee, BCEMS goes out on an average of about 400 calls each month.
These calls range from “sick calls” and “trauma calls” to transporting nursing home residents to and from hospitals.
Transport calls make up most of the calls that the BCEMS responds to, such as the call they responded to on Wednesday Aug. 22.
An elderly man in a nursing home had a fall that day and continued to slip in and out of consciousness. The nursing staff said that the man was not acting like himself ever since the fall.
EMS responders Tamera Childers and Lieutenant Sara Murray performed a preliminary examination before leaving the nursing home. They then called the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma while en route to announce their arrival.
After delivering the patient safely to the hospital, EMS responders filled out a report and left a copy with the patient. This must be done after responding to every call.
The Bryan County EMS is an Advanced Life Support provider meaning they can administer medicines and treatment on site.
Basic Life Support providers can perform basic lifesaving procedures such as CPR, but cannot give medicines or treatment.
BCEMS also Critical Care certified so that they may transport critical patients to hospitals. This requires a higher level of training for medics said McGehee.
To meet the training requirements, local doctors, medics and nurses were brought in to train the EMS medics in Critical Care procedures. The EMS medics then get their certification through the University of Maryland.
This enables another service the BCEMS provides. The BCEMS occasionally transports patients from the hospital here in Bryan County to hospitals in Oklahoma City of Dallas.
The Bryan County EMS has a 24-hour on 48-hour off rotation between three shifts. Each shift has two two-person crews on staff. While on duty the crews stay in the station this is equipped with a kitchen and living room.
Calls to be responded to are announced by a special tone over the radio followed by information about the call. EMS responders drop whatever they may be doing and drive out to the location.
Captain McGehee and Lieutenant Sara Murray both said while days may be slow at times, nights tend to be constant calls.
Approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday, calls picked up for the Durant station. McGehee and his partner Mark Demaree responded to a call for a 72-year-old lady with chest pains. Shortly after, Murray and Childers were also called out.
If both crews are called out and cannot respond to a third call, they rely on other EMS respondents in the county to help, said Murray.
There are two ways to contact the BCEMS. One way is by dialing 911. The second is the non-emergency phone number, (580) 924-4687.
This number, said McGehee, is generally used to set up transports from the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma to Oklahoma City or between nursing homes and the hospital.