EMSA Paramedic Returns From Iraq

Wednesday, November 5th 2008, 10:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa first responder who answered the call to duty in Iraq is finally back home.  Now he's in training to return to answering emergency calls on Tulsa streets.

Chris and Sheri Dent share a job, a marriage, and recently a sacrifice.  The pair of paramedics has been apart for the last year, while Chris was on assignment.

"I used a lot of the same skills, but I didn't drive an ambulance everyday and I wasn't in Tulsa," said Sgt. Chris Dent.

Medical Sergeant Chris Dent left Green Country for the Green Zone.  He was deployed with the Oklahoma National Guard to work in a military hospital that primarily served Iraqi detainees.

"For a lot of them, this is the first real health care that they've ever had in their lifetime. So, they're getting our U.S. standard of care right there. It goes along way," said Sgt. Chris Dent.  "Injuries and deaths are down a lot just because of things we've done in the past years over there to bring the violence down."

Saving lives and serving your country seems to not only run in the Dent family, but the EMSA family.

Spencer Manier and Derrick Baird are also Iraq veterans.  Since they've been off duty answering the call to duty, they all have to be retrained before they can get back behind the wheel of an ambulance.

Chris Dent says he's glad to be back with EMSA and back at home.  No one's probably happier than his co-worker and wife.

"A lot of stress has been lifted and the kids are great, now," said Sheri Dent.  "I'm very proud of him.  Even with all of the stress and I don't tell him enough."

Chris Dent says if he was called on to serve again, he would.