Glenpool Votes To Immediately Dissolve Volunteer Response Program

Monday, March 2nd 2015, 8:08 pm
By: News On 6

A volunteer program in Glenpool that provided emergency first responders for more than 20 years no longer exists as of Monday night.

The city council voted to dissolve the program but said it's in no way shortchanging medical care in the city.

After weeks of tension, everyone came together Monday night and agreed that it was best to immediately hand over all emergency calls to the city fire and EMT departments.

Volunteer first responder Jenny Watts sat up front and had a hard time holding back tears as the decision was made.

2/20/2015 Related Story: Oklahoma's Only Volunteer First Responder Program Ends In Glenpool

"I'm sad, but I have confidence in the fire department and ambulance service. They're getting new equipment and so I will just take it with a smile and go on," she said.

The same day, Watts' supervisor, and the man who started the citizen emergency response program, Keith Robinson, resigned.

"We are the last first responder program that is non fire related, so our day was due," he said.

Originally, members headed out as soon as an emergency call came in, as a way to have someone arrive at a patient's home quickly because the city didn't staff an ambulance within city limits and wait times could be close to 25 minutes.

However, times have changed and Glenpool now has EMSA Plus and a wait time of only eight minutes.

Earl Henry lost his wife two years ago and, before that, Watts was a constant at their home.

"This girl is the world's champion I promise you," he said.

Transition is hard, but everyone agreed that the city is in extremely capable hands and that the fire fighters and EMTs will provide just as much care.

"I'm just happy it lasted as long as it did. I have no regrets whatsoever," Robinson said.

Volunteers stopped running on calls as of the middle of last month.