How EMSA Works

DEMSA is a public trust of the Tulsa and Oklahoma City governments. It is the Authority’s duty to ensure that the cities we serve receive the highest quality of emergency medical service at the best possible price.

There are several entities that work together in the EMSA system, including:

The Authority

EMSA, the Authority, provides independent business oversight and ensures compliance of a private ambulance service chosen to operate in the service area. The Authority does not provide ambulance service, but rather acts as an informed and impartial buyer of service for the cities it represents. The Authority also owns ambulances and other capital equipment used by the private contractor to provide service. EMSA also manages agreements, maintains patient records, bills and collects, purchases goods and services and manages the EMSAcare ambulance subscription program and makes policy recommendations.

Employees of the Authority report to and follow the direction of the 11-member EMSA Board of Trustees. Eight of the 11 trustees are appointed by the mayors of Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

City Governments

In addition to appointing individuals to serve on the EMSA Board of Trustees, the Cities must approve any changes to EMSA Trust Agreement, which governs EMSA operations.

The Medical Director

An independent Medical Director provides medical oversight of the private ambulance company selected by the Authority and first responders (firefighters assisting in patient assessment and stabilization). The Medical Director conducts routine audits and testing of all medics practicing in the system, writes seamless protocols to ensure the continuity of care between first responders and transport medics, researches new treatment modalities and evaluates complaints.

The Medical Director reports to the Medical Control Board, an organization composed of 11 community physicians (10 of whom work in metropolitan hospital emergency departments) who serve voluntarily.

The Contracted Provider

EMSA contracts with American Medical Response (AMR) to provide advanced life support ambulance service and operational support. AMR is contractually obligated and fully committed to meeting response time standards and other standards of care set by the Authority and the medical director.

AMR is the nation’s leading ambulance service provider, with operations in more than 2,000 communities across 40 states. A pioneer in the emergency medical services sector, AMR is known for implementing and providing the industry’s best practices.