Married EMTs who run calls together, stay together

In high stress emergencies they can go by instinct and body language, and say responding together also helps them communicate in their personal lives


By Robert Medley
The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY — Tyler and Angie Whitmire, who have been married three years, face high-stress situations at work almost every day.

Four days a week, for 12 hours, they respond to distress calls in an ambulance together. After their shifts the married couple goes home. Both say their marriage helps their work.

The Whitmires say there are some emergencies they respond to that they can effectively take care of the sick or injured without hardly even speaking, but they can go by instinct, body language and a lot of training. Knowing each other so well helps, they said.

And being together all the time, works out just fine, Tyler Whitmire said.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Tyler Whitmire, 29, who has worked for Emergency Medical Services Authority for seven years. Angie Whitmire has been with EMSA 12 years.

Strengthened relationship

Four years ago, Angie Whitmire, 38, was assigned as Tyler Whitmire’s field trainer. Things fell into place for the two and Tyler Whitmire became a paramedic. They started dating, then married and now have an 18-month-old son at home. They are also raising Angie Whitmire’s three girls from a previous marriage.

“We constantly rock even the most difficult situations and calls,” Tyler Whitmire said.

Angie Whitmire, who drives the ambulance on emergency calls, said she thinks their working relationship has improved because of their personal one.

Angie Whitmire said, “I enjoy working with him (Tyler.) There are high stress calls that we can run on and hardly even speak to each other. I know what he needs. Working together also helps communication between us.”

Tyler Whitmire said his wife and partner “has a big heart.” There was one recent call that tugged at it because a child was involved and they had not yet used all of their own baby gifts.

The Whitmires were on duty in their ambulance at SW 51 and S Pennsylvania Avenue on April 11 when another vehicle pulled in front of them and a woman got out and ran up with a 1-year-old boy in her arms. The boy, who weighed about 22 pounds, had fallen off a wheelchair ramp at home and hit the back of his head and back.

Angie Whitmire learned the couple didn’t own a proper car seat. After the boy was taken to the hospital in the ambulance and treated, Angie Whitmire donated her own gift cards to a store so the couple could buy a car seat for the ride home. Their son had no broken bones and has recovered from the fall.

“It’s not negotiable to have a car seat. It’s imperative,” Angie Whitmire said.

With children of her own, and responding to wrecks all too frequently involving children, Angie Whitmire stresses the importance of properly restraining a child in a vehicle. It’s up to the adults, she said.

“I just want to make sure people restrain children appropriately,” she said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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