Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Coverage

Odessa Fire Rescue has been the emergency medical service provider for the City of Odessa and Ector County since 1973. EMS services are provided under the direction of our Medical Directors Dr. Gregory Shipkey and Dr. Sudip Bose, who are world class emergency room physicians. All members of Odessa Fire Rescue are required to be Texas Department of State Health Services certified Paramedics. We currently operate eight Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances and eight paramedic staffed fire engines. Our coverage area is approximately 904 square miles and we serve a population of 200,000. Odessa Fire Rescue responds to approximately 20,000 Emergency incidents per year.

OFR has two stations that operate under a squad concept. These are four person stations that have both a front-line EMS unit, and a front-line fire apparatus. Depending on the nature of the call, all four personnel respond on either the fire apparatus or the EMS unit. This configuration of the squad concept was originated by Odessa Fire Rescue and has been adopted by other departments around the state for it's efficient use of personnel.

An engine will run with an ambulance on the majority of calls in the Department's coverage area. There are a number of reasons for this. Often an ambulance is out of its station when the call comes in, usually either on or returning from another call. The engine can get there quicker and begin treatment before the arrival of the ambulance. This is the reason for staffing a paramedic on all engines. Other reasons include assistance with patient handling, hauling equipment, and scene control. Having more than two people to assist with moving patients helps to reduce back injuries and help keep the city's worker's compensation costs down.

EMS Training Divison

The EMS Training Division is dedicated to keeping the clinical proficiency of Odessa Fire Rescue personnel at the highest level. The Training Division uses a hybrid model of online and classroom training to maintain certification necessities, to provide the most up to date information regarding patient care, and to provide information on issues affecting the EMS community.

Accomplishments

Odessa Fire Rescue achieved the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award in 2019 and 2020. This Cardiac care accreditation is the highest-level award that an EMS agency can receive. 

OFR was voted EMS Provider of the Year in 1998 and 1999 for the Texas "J" Region, which extends south from Andrews to Terlingua, and west from Coahoma to Pecos. 

In 1970, the City of Odessa was the first city in the state to provide the 911 emergency dialing system. 

In 1972, the City of Odessa was first in the state to provide the Jaws of Life. Odessa was also the first city in the state to have state certified ambulances.

Odessa Fire Rescue was one of the first providers in the state to adopt a therapeutic hypothermic protocol. The Department has worked closely with area hospitals to create a successful STEMI and Stoke programs. The STEMI program has earned Gold recognition status from the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline organization has awarded Odessa Fire Rescue the Gold award in 2018 and the Gold Plus award in 2109 and 2020 for the best possible Cardiac (STEMI)/heart attack EMS patient care and outcomes.