Path Home Shows 2016 Show Archive March 2016 Show 1613 How Secure Are We?

How Secure Are We?

Value Added: Since 9/11, most of our lives have gone on with only minor modifications, possibly because of the work that goes on behind the scenes in law enforcement.
How Secure Are We?

How Secure Are We?

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Oklahoma Homeland Security

Show Details

Show 1613: How Secure Are We?
Air Date: March 27, 2016



Rob: Well, since 9/11, our reaction to the threat of terror has been massive. Billions have been spent on wars abroad and thousands of Americans have lost their lives serving our country. Yet here at home, most of our lives have gone on with only minor modifications, possibly because of the work that goes on quietly behind the scenes in law enforcement. Here’s our Courtenay DeHoff.

Courtenay DeHoff: The Murrah Building, the World Trade Center, both forever engrained in American history as reminders of the horrors of terrorism. But if there is a lesson in these tragedies, it’s that preparation and communication are crucial in a response to such an event, a theory that many in Oklahoma are putting into practice.

Kristy Yager: What we know is that communication is key in these types of situations.

Courtenay: Kristy Yager is the public information officer for Oklahoma City and says that the collaborative training among first responders is the key to being ready.

Yager: It’s very, very important that we test our procedures every once in a while, several times a year, and our interoperability, because this forces the police department to work with the fire department and EMSA. So there’s got to be a lot of communication that happens in this process, and people have to practice their safety procedures and make sure people get out of the building as safely as possible.

Courtenay: Which is why Oklahoma’s current and future first responders are training now for whatever may lie ahead.

Yager: What we’re doing today is, we’re practicing a full-scale training exercise, and this gives the police department, the fire department, EMSA and area hospitals some practice in dealing with a real-life situation.

Courtenay: An exercise that also tests the cooperation between city departments.

Yager: This also allows us all to get to know each other better, so when we do get into an emergency situation we can know each other, and we can communicate much more clearly that way.

Courtenay: Work that’s even extending into our classrooms. Today, fighting terrorism is a part of the curriculum for students interested in criminal justice. Mark American Horse is an instructor at Central Tech in Drumright and heads the Puppy Strike Program, a unique educational opportunity that exposes students to real-world emergency training.

Mark American Horse: The training that led up to this was very intense. It was very realistic. And I think they saw how fast things can start changing and that you have to account for all kinds of different things and that literally you can’t account for everything. As part of the training, this is how you have to adapt to whatever is happening. Literally, whenever they’re going through a building, they should be talking to each other, telling each other what’s up ahead and any changes that are being made other than the plan that we had.

Yager: Practice, practice, practice. You can’t practice a hostage situation or any type of emergency situation enough. So the better prepared we are, the better we’re going to react in a real-life situation.

Courtenay: Showing that preparation today will ensure safety tomorrow.