Chris Howell

TULSA---Oklahoma Task Force 1 is just now wrapping up two days of an operational readiness exercise designed to test all components of urban search and rescue.  The task force is based both in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and gets just this one opportunity per year to train together.

‘We are a type-1 urban search and rescue force,' said R.B. Ellis, Program Manager for Oklahoma Task Force 1, ‘we're modeled after the FEMA system, the same system that sent teams to Haiti to search after the earthquake there.'

The task force trained in breaching concrete structures searching for victims in collapsed buildings, providing medical support and logistics, and searching with canines.

‘What we've tried to do is build concrete slabs and bury the victims way down deep inside in case it's like a concrete building that's collapsed,' said Canine Search Specialist Roger Fourkiller.

OK-TF1 technicians are proficient in structural collapse, high-angle, confined space, trench, vehicle and machinery, and swift-water rescues.