Tulsa Woman Becomes TPD Special Operations Team's 1st Female Tactical Paramedic
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Green Country paramedic has made Oklahoma history.
Katheryn Ericsson is the Tulsa Police Department Special Operations Team’s first female tactical paramedic.
Ericsson says this accomplishment was no easy task.
She says for every hour a special operations officer trains, a tactical paramedic trains for three.
If you ask Ericsson about the calluses on her hands or the bruises on her arms, she will tell you it's all been worth it.
"We are working with men and I have to be able, if something happens to one of my teammates, I have to be able to drag them out with all of their gear," said Ericsson. "They have to trust you with their lives."
Being a tactical paramedic means Ericsson will go into crisis situations alongside the Tulsa Special Operations Team.
"We enter into these environments with the team,” stated Ericsson. “We are the first ones on scene to render aid to an officer that is potentially injured, victims that are injured, render care immediately, and then get them to the standby unit."
Ericsson says very few women in the United States are on Special Operations Teams.
Her gender alone caused some people to doubt her ability to do the job.
Ericsson says, "as a woman getting into this industry, it's not without its challenges. You have to work almost twice as hard."
Ericsson paired her almost 10 years as a paramedic and EMS instructor with hours of training to prepare for the physical and mental demands the job.
"The Police department has always been very forward thinking when it comes to ladies and their rank," said Ericsson. "I've had tremendous support from the officers that I've worked with."
Now, she has made history.
"There are going to be some rough days, and there are going to be some setbacks, and there are going to be people that don't believe in you or don't even think that you belong there," stated Ericsson. "Have a goal and have a dream and pursue it."
She says she dedicated her accomplishment to her 19-year-old daughter, who is serving in Afghanistan.