Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is the largest
ambulance service provider in the state of Oklahoma, serving
more than one million people in Tulsa and Oklahoma City with
a fleet of 70 ambulances. These ambulances aren't sitting
in station houses waiting for calls. Instead, EMSA uses systems
status management tools to keep ambulances on the move and
where the people are.
According to Chuck Smith, administrative supervisor at EMSA,
this system produces one of the fastest response times and
best patient outcomes of any EMS departments in the country.
"We are very technology driven," says Smith. "But
the technology has to have a direct impact on our performance.
We will embrace any new tool that improves patient care or
cuts down on response times. If the technology doesn't achieve
at least one of these, we walk away from it."
More than two years ago, EMSA was looking for a way to improve
emergency response times at big events, when out of the blue,
two Segway® Personal Transporters (HTs) showed up at their
"Our president, Steve Williamson, is focused on keeping
us on the forefront of technology," says Smith. "He
saw the Segway PT at a conference and immediately bought two
of them, thinking that their maneuverability would make them
ideal for moving our paramedics through big crowds."
Today, the Segway PTs are EMSA's primary response device
for big events. "We use two Segway PTs at the State Fair
of Oklahoma," says Smith. "There are hundreds of
thousands of people attending the event over ten days, and
ambulances are definitely not effective in moving through
"In the past we used customized golf carts outfitted
with a stretcher and all the equipment of a life support ambulance.
Unfortunately, they, too, struggled in the crowds," says
Smith. "Our bicycles beat the cart response times, but
the Segway PTs cuts even the bicycle response times in half.
They are incredibly effective in crowds because the Segway
PTs are balanced at any speed - even when they are stopped.
And they can turn on a dime. Our responders also have great
sight lines when they're on a Segway PT because they're a
head taller than everyone else. This is not the case when
they are on bicycles and their sight lines are lower than
"We use the Segway PTs to respond quickly and get to
the patient," says Smith. "We've outfitted the Segway
PTs to carry oxygen, heart defibrillators, cardiac drugs,
trauma supplies and advanced airway supplies. The golf carts
follow to provide patient transport. They operate as a team."
All told Smith has eight advanced life support crews with
a dispatcher and supervisor on site at the Fair. He also uses
the Segway PTs at football games and other events that draw
"The Segway PTs have capabilities that no other vehicles
have," says Smith. "I can see us expanding the ranks
of Segway PTs because they are very useful tools."
Call a Segway toll-free at 1-866-4SEGWAY today to
learn more about how the Segway PT can get your emergency
medical services team moving.