'He could work with anybody': Okla. EMT dies from COVID-19

Bartlesville Ambulance Service EMT Stan Wilson, a 21-year veteran of EMS, died just over two weeks after his mother died from the virus


Daisy Creager
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Okla.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Veteran EMT Stan Wilson died Monday, marking the first COVID-19 related death of a Bartlesville Ambulance Service first responder.

A procession of BAS ambulances, Bartlesville Police and Bartlesville Fire trucks accompanied his body from the hospital to a funeral home. BAS Administrator Dan Bolton said it is believed Wilson, a Bartlesville EMT of 21 years, contracted the disease from his mother, Norma Wilson, who died of COVID-19 on Sept. 12.

"It comes too close to home. It makes COVID very real. Our guys are exposed to it almost every day, to COVID patients. We thought we were through the worst of it, then it came back again. We never expected to have a death. Almost all of our guys have gotten COVID ... Stan was the only one who didn't survive it," Bolton said.

"He was very easy going, one of the nicest guys you could meet. He could work with anybody."

Arrangements for services are underway, Bolton said.

A dedicated first responder, Wilson worked overtime with BAS "quite a bit," Bolton said, and was "very instrumental" in the operations of the Washington County Emergency Management Agency as a volunteer of more than two decades, WCEMA Director Kary Cox said.

When active response to an emergency was needed at the WCEMA Emergency Operations Center, Wilson would volunteer to monitor radar and logging communications. He also trained other volunteers — including a dog, who he trained in search-and-rescue operations, becoming WCEMA's first canine handler, Cox said.

"This news has hit us very hard. It's been a very somber day for us," Cox said.

Although soft-spoken, Wilson worked diligently even in the hectic emergency response environment, always having crucial communications information organized and ready, Cox said.

"He was such an asset in that regard (during crises). He was always very calm, very quiet and extremely soft-spoken unless he didn't need to be," Cox said. "Having that calm demeanor, that very quiet and graceful tone was ... a great asset in that type of operation. Because of that, he will be dearly missed."

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(c)2021 the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise (Bartlesville, Okla.)

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