Oklahoma's Own In Focus: Tulsa Fire Explains Preparation For Potential Mass Casualty Events

Tulsa Fire EMS Officer Robert Brown said firefighters always prepare for the worst but hope for the best, and try to work together and as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, December 27th 2023, 10:16 pm



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When the calls about a shooter at Woodland Hills Mall first came in, a large number of Tulsa firefighters rushed to the scene, along with Tulsa Police and EMSA.

Tulsa Fire EMS Officer Robert Brown said firefighters always prepare for the worst but hope for the best, and try to work together and as quickly as possible.

When first responders arrive at scenes like the one at Woodland Hills, they don’t know what they’ll be walking into.

Brown wasn’t at the scene last night, but said in situations like this, every agency has a specific role.

"Everybody plays a part,” said Brown. “The Police Department primarily is for scene security, and we're going to go in, and we're going to play a support role. Which is going to involve us marshaling the people who are evacuating, trying to focus our energies on reunification as well as preparing ourselves for immediate emergency response if necessary."

Brown said at these scenes, the incident commander will go through and assign everyone to specific jobs. That way everyone has a mission and knows exactly what they are supposed to do.

"You don't want to have a bunch of redundancies because its slow,” said Brown. “These are processes that involve a lot of people, and if you have clear line of sight and understand exactly what you're supposed to do, you're able to move much faster and bring resolution much quicker."

He said their training is constantly evolving as events happen, like the mass shooting last year at the Saint Francis Natalie Building.

Click here for stories about the Saint Francis Natalie Building shooting.

"We have to work every day to try to improve the services that we provide, and unfortunately we're in an environment that involves active shooter,” said Brown. “So we're preparing ourselves."

Brown said he’s proud of the way Tulsa’s agencies respond in these kinds of situations.

"Our crews on the streets do an excellent job of identifying where they can click into the puzzle, and they are always willing and able to help, and so kudos to them,” said Brown.

Brown also said the department has does trainings with various groups in the area to ensure they are up-to-date and ready in case something happens.

Related Stories:

  1. 21-Year-Old Killed After Shooting At Woodland Hills Mall
  2. Police Search For Gunman From Deadly Woodland Hills Mall Shooting
  3. Witnesses Describe Lockdown Following Shooting Outside Mall
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