As Oklahoma City's population of older adults grows, so does the number of calls for an ambulance, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority said Wednesday.
“More baby boomers are calling 911,” spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said.
EMSA set a record for emergency calls in Oklahoma City in August, O'Leary said.
Paramedics responded to 9,214 calls, the most in any month since EMSA ambulances began serving Oklahoma City in 1990.
Not everyone who called for an ambulance needed to go to the hospital. Paramedics took 6,813 patients to emergency rooms, O'Leary said. The previous record number of people taken to emergency rooms was 6,777 set in January.
Baby boomers — those Americans born from 1946 to 1964 — who called about health problems contributed to the higher numbers, O'Leary said.
Every 8 seconds another baby boomer turns 60, O'Leary said. Oklahoma City's older population continues to grow with the rest of the nation, she said.
The previous record number of calls was set in May, when EMSA responded to 8,863 calls.
Hot weather is partly responsible for the number of August calls; 184 were heat-related, O'Leary said.
Although Oklahoma City has not had record-setting heat this summer, the higher humidity has contributed to health problems, she said. More people have complained of breathing problems related to humidity and heat.
August calls included a few about snake bites, a seasonal problem, O'Leary said. There were no major disasters or events with numerous patients in August, she said.
EMSA officials expect the number of all emergency calls in Oklahoma City will continue to increase as the population ages.
They are preparing to meet the challenge by training more paramedics, O'Leary said.