Emergency Response Drills Held at ECU - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Emergency Response Drills Held at ECU

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ADA, OK--Oklahoma emergency responders reported to a Texoma campus today to practice their skills for future life-threatening situations.

It was all for practice. First responders from across Oklahoma gathered at East Central's Norris Field Tuesday morning to exercise emergency management drills.

"We made all the arrangements and notifications with state emergency management that we would have normally made had this been a real event," said Gene Linton, Ada's emergency management director.

The two-day event features staged training for events such as mass casualties, active shooter scenarios and response to explosives and hazardous chemicals.

Event organizers and participants tell us it isn't just for spectators--the event allows emergency responders to sharpen their skills.

"It really benefits first responders," said Ada fire chief Marion Harris. "Keeps us sharp on our different talents that we have to do in case of an emergency."

John Pierce is a junior at ECU and reenlisted in the Army last week. He says the practice drills are taken seriously, because you never know when they might become a reality.

"On the larger scale, it's to see how the system works and to make sure they're actually capable and prepared for some type of mass casualty event
such as a bomb like was the setting of today," said Pierce.

Linton says this field of work is a continuous learning experience.

"You can learn a lot here no matter how long you've been around," he said. "Short-term or long-term, there's a lot to be learned here today."

Linton says the city has never encountered an actual mass casualty event of the magnitude they are training for. Drills will continue tomorrow morning, and anyone is welcome to attend.