Law enforcement are still required to provide transportation of individuals in need of initial assessment, emergency detention or protective custody from the initial point of contact to the nearest facility within a thirty (30) mile radius of their operational headquarters, unless the individual self-presents at a hospital or other treatment facility. See 43A O.S. §1-110 and §5-207.
Effective November 1, 2021, the ODMHSAS will implement a regionally-based transportation service throughout Oklahoma.
The ODMHSAS will implement a regionally based alternative transportation service throughout Oklahoma in partnership with local transportation vendors. This shift to provide an “alternative transportation” service will fundamentally transform how children and adults requiring inpatient psychiatric treatment are transported to higher levels of treatment settings.
In years past, most individuals who needed inpatient treatment were placed in a law enforcement vehicle and handcuffed, even though most individuals committed no crime.
Now, alternative transportation vendors contracting with the ODMHSAS provide transportation services using unmarked vehicles with specially trained drivers to securely assist individuals with getting to the nearest treatment facility when greater than 30 miles away.
The result of this change will assist Oklahoma toward a person-centered approach to treatment and help de-stigmatize mental health and addiction disorders.
Providing safe and secure transportation that is trauma informed and focused on the individuals’ engagement in recovery treatment is the ultimate goal of this systems transformation.
The ODMHSAS will work within the existing regionally based infrastructure to help facilitate the dispatch of the transport service for those in need of acute psychiatric treatment greater than 30 miles. To request transport services, please refer to the below decision tree and color coordinated map to contact your local Ride CARE Partner.
Ride CARE Regions
Frequently Asked Questions
Legislation defines the 30-mile parameter relative to law enforcement officer’s operational headquarters.
The transport vendor should respond within ninety (90) minutes. The vendor shall make every effort to arrive within sixty (60) minutes of notification for transport. If the response time is in excess of one hundred and twenty (120) minutes, an ODMHSAS representative or contracted agency must approve the extension.
Transportation over 30 miles is the responsibility of the ODMHSAS transportation vendors. If a law enforcement agency would like to enter into a contract for reimbursement for travel over 30 miles, please contact ODMHSAS.
Transportation providers must be trained in the following:
- Obligations under 43A O.S. §1-110 and §5-207
- Client rights
- Therapeutic Options, or similar curriculum as approved by ODMHSAS
- CPR/First Aid
- HIPAA and Confidentiality
The ODMHSAS is not currently seeking additional providers. For potential employment opportunities with existing vendors, please contact providers directly to inquire about availability.
The most common reason for a transportation request to not successfully submit is that the information provided did not indicate the individual was eligible for transport. For example, if you did not indicate that a treatment bed has been confirmed the transportation request will not submit. Additionally, you must indicate that the individual has met criteria for inpatient psychiatric care as defined by Oklahoma statute 43A. Lastly, the person must not require medical evaluation at an emergency room prior to transport.
Note: If you are experiencing crisis, please call the designated Ride CARE provider for your region as detailed here. The Ride CARE FAQ form is not intended for crisis response.
We are grateful to all our partners including Governor Stitt, state legislature, law enforcement officers, hospitals, and the numerous community stakeholders involved helping to make this transition successful. With any major system change, we anticipate opportunities to learn and improve upon along the way. We thank you in advance as we all transition toward a better way to support the mental health and overall well-being of all Oklahomans.