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Oklahoma’s EMSA ranks in top 1 percent of EMS providers nationally

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma’s Emergency Medical Services Authority achieved re-accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services this month and maintained its place among the top 1 percent of systems nationwide for its high-quality of patient care and administration.

EMSA is one of only 149 ambulance services in the nation, and the second in Oklahoma, to be accredited with the national commission. Based on 15,276 ambulance services in the U.S., according to the American Ambulance Service, this achievement ranks EMSA among the top 1 percent of ambulance services across the country.

“This recognition is another great example of the consistently outstanding ambulance service that EMSA has been providing since 1978,” said Larry Stevens, Edmond city manager and EMSA board member.

“Especially with the recent board discussions about some internal issues that are being resolved, it is our responsibility to remind our citizens that EMSA’s quality of care is considered one of the best in the United States.

“We need to a better job conveying this message.”

EMSA received the original accreditation, which is good for three years, in 2010 with a perfect score in more than 100 areas evaluated including agency management, financial management, budgeting and strategic planning, mutual aid and disaster coordination, credentialing and training, clinical standards, safety and community education.

The primary focus of the commission’s standards is high-quality patient care, but also includes the ambulance service’s total operation and its relationships with other agencies, the general public and the medical community.

“The review process is very thorough and stringent. To achieve re-accreditation means our system continues to employ the highest standards of excellence across the entire system,” said EMSA CEO Steve Williamson.

The review process, which an ambulance service voluntarily completes every three years, includes a comprehensive application and on-site review by national experts in emergency medical services.

EMSA and its contractors employ nearly 600 people, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, system status controllers and dispatchers. The Medical Control Board, a group of Oklahoma emergency physicians, provides independent medical oversight for EMSA, develops treatment protocols and conducts quality improvement activities.

EMSA has provided advanced life support ambulance service in Oklahoma since 1978. The authority was established as a public utility model and independent trust authority of the city of Tulsa. It expanded in 1990 to become a trust authority of the city of Oklahoma City. Today, EMSA serves more than 1.1 million residents in Central and Northeast Oklahoma. Service areas include Tulsa, Sand Springs, Bixby, Jenks, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Bethany, Mustang, Nichols Hills, Piedmont, The Village, Warr Acres, Yukon, Lake Aluma, Arcadia and Valley Brook.

The Cherokee Nation emergency medical services department, with its headquarters in Tahlequah, is the other CAAS accredited organization in Oklahoma.