Robert Brown has experienced being part of an emergency medical service (EMS) family. He knows the energy and commitment required and the huge amounts of time EMTs are away from their loved ones.
Robert’s father, Tom Brown, was 42 years old when he died on Nov. 30, 1985 at the Jackson County Memorial Hospital from injuries received while being at service to the people of Jackson County. His father was owner and founder of Brown’s Appliance Service at the time of his death. Brown had also received the BASIC EMT service of the year award in 1985. Brown also participated in EMT rodeos, time skill races and help recognize the EMT for their skills.
Robert recently presented the plaque that was originally donated by the Rotary Club in memory of his father Tom to hang in the Jackson County EMS station. “I hope that the plaque will encourage each EMT to stay strong, compassionate and safe” said Brown. “And also serve as a small thank you and reminder that they are appreciated and very vital to the people of Southwest Oklahoma.”
When the senior Brown was attempting to rescue another man, Mike Walker, from an abandoned cistern located five miles south, three miles west and a half mile north of Altus when he was overcome by an unknown gas and suffered asphyxiation. Walker died shortly after the incident.
“In the days when Tom Brown was an EMT it was very different,” said Mike Canada of Jackson County EMS. “The generation was positively aggressive in their dedication and roles of community service. If you weren’t compassionate, you weren’t an EMT for very long. Tom was like a father to me and had mentored me in my EMT career.” Canada add, “Tom also had way of making all the EMT’s feel needed and important – giving us the mission of becoming the best EMT. Our work environment was professional, yet with a family atmosphere.”
Years ago an EMT class at an entry level was 112 hours, whereas today 300 hours are required. The EMT needs additional hours in a variety of disciplines. The EMT also must have vehicle operator training and 48 to 72 hours of continuing education courses.
The current Jackson County EMS is made up of six ambulances, two response units, employes 27 full time EMT’s and 10 part time EMTs. They cover Jackson County as well as a fair amount of Harmon, Greer, Kiowa and occassionally Tillman County.
Brown added, “EMTs are courageous a very special, I can testify to that because my Dad never thought about his own safety while trying to save another mans life.”
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077