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A Journey Back to His Fire House

Eddie Mangold stands in front of a fire truck.

When the sirens wail and the lights flash on an emergency vehicle, have you ever paused to ponder the remarkable skills required? These brave men and women possess a unique set of abilities, including some who are paramedics.

Now, thanks to an incredible partnership between the Tulsa Fire Department and Tulsa Tech, even more Tulsa firefighters can acquire these invaluable skills.

“Paramedics can do the things that can make a difference. They do things that regular Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) can’t,” Eddie Mangold, a Tulsa Fire Captain and paramedic student, said. "The last few years I worked alongside paramedics as part of an Advanced Life Support company."

But Mangold wanted a deeper understanding of the "what" and "why" behind the work of paramedics. Though all Tulsa firefighters are required to hold basic EMT certification, Mangold sought more knowledge. He explains, "I had a decent grasp of what our paramedics were doing through my interactions with them, but I craved a complete understanding. Now, I can reflect on past scenes and finally say, 'Ah, that's why they made those decisions.'"

After finishing the training throughout this ten-month program, he will be able to go back to his same fire station, only this time as a paramedic.

Tulsa Tech’s traditional paramedic program is an all-day or evening program that can be completed in only 13-14 months. Students must already have their EMT certification and be 18 years old to apply. Through this fast-track program specifically designed for firefighters like Mangold, they can shave three months off to earn their certification in the program.

“We are excited to help our community with this special program," Steve Nguyen, Coordinator of Emergency Medical Service programs at Tulsa Tech, said. “This is one way we as a district work to benefit our community.”

For Mangold, the benefits go beyond time saved. It's the convenience of staying close to home that truly enhances the experience. Still, he jokingly admits that adjusting to the class schedule and returning to school took some getting used to.

“The facilities are great,” he said. “It was the learning curve of getting my head wrapped around being in school again. Plus, being here every day is much different compared to our normal work schedule.”

Ultimately, this immersive experience will equip Mangold to provide critical aid to the people of Tulsa during life-or-death situations.

If you've ever dreamt of acquiring the skills to assist those in medical emergencies, Tulsa Tech can turn that dream into a reality.