Christopher Stevens talks about his background as an EMT and paramedic with EMSA.
From Firefighter to Ambulance Driver
My experience in EMS started in 1997 when I wanted to become a firefighter. I had a lot of friends that were firefighters, and they suggested that I take an EMT class in the hopes that it would give me some advantage over those that were trying to also become firefighters. So I decided to give it one year at EMSA for some experience. And after about a month or two sitting in the driver’s seat of the ambulance, I watched what my paramedic partner was doing over there, and she was doing some pretty amazing stuff.
I remember the first time we woke somebody up with a solution called D50–it’s a sugar solution. And we administered that to someone that was having a diabetic crisis and she woke this guy up. It was in the parking lot of a Texaco. We woke this guy up, I should say, but she started an I.V. and I handed her medications and we pushed that medication on this guy. And it was like magic. And I thought she was some sort of a wizard or a goddess or something. And I went, “Man, I want to do what you’re doing. This is awesome.”
EMT Career Path
I worked here a total of about a month or two before I decided I wanted to get some experiences as an EMT first at the basic level, and then as soon as I can, get into paramedic school. I waited about a year eventually. But I did get into paramedic school and then I went through that and started doing exactly what my partner was doing. I never regretted it.
Consequently, I decided that I really liked the medicine side of things and made this decision to stay with EMSA. I’ve been here since 1998.
I’ve had a lot of different jobs at EMSA, and that’s what we do. We promote you as far up as you want to go. I started in 1998 as an EMT basic, and about 2001, I finished with my paramedic. I took on a promotion as the recruiter in about 2002, I think. I did that for quite a number of years.
Working at EMSA: Growth Opportunities
Eventually, I became the public information officer for EMSA, as well as the special events coordinator. So I scheduled all of the special events for the BOK Center and the Tulsa Drillers and different sports venues and TU basketball games, things like that. It was a lot of fun, getting to work a lot of special events with my crews that I was scheduling. Eventually I came back to recruiting, which is what I think I do best.
I have the gift of gab. I can talk to anybody, carry on a conversation. And I just love sharing the EMSA story. I’m still very proud to wear the uniform. I’m still a licensed paramedic in the state of Oklahoma, and I want to share that experience with other people and let them know that if you want to become an EMT or a paramedic, EMSA is the place to do that. We’ve got a lot of cool equipment and got a lot of great protocols.
We try to treat our people right and you can literally grow as much as you want to grow at EMSA. We don’t want you to spend just a little bit of time here. We want you to come and find a home.