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Vehicle Will Help Volunteers Handle Emergencies

GLENPOOL, Okla. -- Glenpool s new $50,000 first responder vehicle will enable the team of medical volunteers to handle emergencies in all types of inclement weather.

Keith Robinson, Glenpool city councilor and organizer of the city's first responder program, said the city now has a 2007 Chevy Suburban in addition to its other first responder car.

"It's great, especially with the weather the way it is. We wouldn't have been able to get to them last year. We can maneuver around the city better and keep patients out of the cold," said volunteer Kim Robinson, Keith Robinson's wife.

First responders are trained medical volunteers who are summoned to an emergency at the same time the ambulance service is called.

First responders are there to assist ambulance crews with emergencies or to administer medical care until an ambulance crew arrives.

Robinson said he started the program 15 years ago, when the city's ambulance service was based in Tulsa.

The ambulance response time was 15 to 20 minutes, so Robinson created the volunteer program to attend to medical emergencies more quickly.

"When they page the ambulance, it simultaneously pages us. We usually arrive ahead of the ambulance," he said.

The city's nine first responder volunteers choose their own schedule for the week.

They have undergone 48 hours of medical training and can administer the same basic medical services as an ambulance medic.

First responders do not transport patients to area medical facilities.

The new first responder vehicle is designed to resemble an emergency vehicle.

Extra space added to the back end of the truck allows patients to be loaded and attended to out of the elements and out of the way of traffic.

First responder Richard Watts said the new vehicle was long overdue.

"It's nice because it allows us to get out in inclement weather. It allows us to get out in the rural areas. It will serve the city well," Watts said.

He said with U.S. 75 running through Glenpool, first responders attend to many car crashes.

"With some car crashes, the car lands in the pasture, and we used to have to walk through the mud. Now we can drive right up to it," Watts said.

Bright lights on top of the vehicle also help.

"People seem to get out of the way. About a half-mile away, they start pulling over. The lights are bright," Watts said.

"I appreciate the city for getting it, and it will be handy."

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