We sat down with EMSA Recruiter Christopher Stevens–who’s been with EMSA for nearly 25 years–to discuss what sets EMSA apart as a place to work.
What would you say to EMS professionals considering working for EMSA?
What I would say to any EMT or paramedic that is considering coming to work for EMSA is the experience you get here is unparalleled. You’re not going to get this kind of experience anywhere else in the United States.
We have operations in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City, and our regulated service area covers over 1.1 million Oklahomans. So it is a huge response area. We run about 330, 350 calls per day, per division. You’re going to get exposed to that many patients per day, per week on a 12-hour shift on the ambulance.
And again, I can’t emphasize enough that I don’t know where else you could get that kind of experience. You can use this as a first step in your career, or find a home and stay here for years and years and promote and advance within our system.
What sets EMSA apart as a place to work for EMTs?
Clinical Excellence and State of the Art Equipment
What sets EMSA apart is that we’re measured by clinical excellence. Our independent medical director who regulates what we do and how we do it is top-notch. We don’t do anything by chance. Everything is based on evidence-based medicine. So you’re going to get a great clinical experience.
You’ll get measured by state-of-the-art capabilities, from our equipment to our protocols to our QA/QI process. It sounds hard and it sounds like you’re going to have Big Brother looking at you all the time, but that’s really not the case. We make sure that you measure up before we set you out on your own to work with your partner.
Training, Training, Training.
You’re going to go through a very, very thorough training process from the beginning. We won’t hand you the keys to an ambulance and wish you luck. We don’t do that here at EMSA.
And continuing education is another thing that you’re going to get constantly. We set you up in a paid refresher class every single month. You’re paid to attend it at the end of the two-year cycle, so you’ve got everything you need to re-certify your license free of charge. You don’t have to go out and pay for it. Plus, you’re paid to attend those classes.
The Academy is where you’re going to start on day one. It’s roughly six weeks long: about three weeks in-house, and then they put you out on the street with your FTO–that’s your field training officer–for about three weeks. All new employees, no matter if you’ve been an EMT or paramedic for five minutes or five years, go through the same orientation process.
They put you through protocol and scenario-based training, a full review of the equipment on the ambulance with mapping, geography, everything you need to succeed in our system. We do not cut you loose until you and your FTO agree that you’re ready to be productive in the system and work on your own truck.
So EMSA Academy is part of our process in continuing education. We also have what we call team meetings. Once a month, there are 11 different offerings for team meetings. So, for example, the second or third week of every month they’ll take a two- or four-hour block in the morning, then in the afternoon. They’ll do that five days during the week and one on Saturday.
You pick one of those days, you clock in, you come sit down, you sit through that class. You’re paid to attend that and you get your continuing education hours all at the same time.
A lot of companies don’t offer that because they simply don’t have the capabilities or the staffing to do it. And at EMSA, we mandate those things, and we make it easy for you to comply with that mandate by providing that education to you. So it’s very, very simple, very easy.