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Founders are seeing the issues in their own background and are personally reaching out to the local leaders.

2 min read.

First Responders are Needed!

by Rian Stockett


Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office says they’re looking for detention officers, Tulsa Police Department says they’re looking to fill sworn and non-sworn positions, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol says they’re rounding up applications for their lateral academy.

“We’re always hiring,” said Adam Paluka, the Chief Public Affairs Officer at EMSA.

“We are looking for detention officers. We’re at a place where we’re looking for about 40 to 45 more detention officers, which would put us at capacity,” said Deputy Steve Allen, with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

Mark Ohnesorge with the Tulsa Police Department says they want to fill sworn and non-sworn positions.

“We are short-staffed. I would say that. So, we’re authorized for somewhere around 940 officers, we’re hovering right over,” said Mark Ohnesorge, Assistant Director for Recruiting and Hiring at Tulsa Police Department. “About 800 officers for the department.”

Ohnesorge says that on paper, they’re about 140-150 officers short.

“Right now, our manpower is limited. You know, as far as even in the metro areas, we’re having shortages in manpower,” said Preston Cox, the Public Information Officer for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Cox says that these staffing shortages cause their response times to increase.

Paluka says that while hiring can be a challenge for first-responder agencies, EMSA has developed a program that has helped them with their hiring needs.

“One of the things that we’ve done is an in-house training program to increase our EMT ranks. It’s called EMSA Advantage, it is a free program for those who enroll,” said Paluka.

Paluka says they pay for people to get their EMT certification.

“We pay for their time in the classroom, we pay for their rides, and then they sign an 18-month contract with EMSA. So really taking off that financial burden from the trainee, allowing them to focus on their schooling and they get paid for their time in the classroom. And we’ve had more than 100 EMTs come out of that program since we started in the Spring of 2022. It’s been wildly successful,” said Paluka

OHP says that right now, they’re collecting applications for their lateral academy, which is open to any current and former law enforcement, meaning they can only be out of law enforcement experience for up to one year and have two years of service to apply.