Community Emergency Response Teams Hold Jenks Training Exercise

Saturday, April 1st 2017, 12:55 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the tornado that hit North Tulsa and Owasso.

And after Saturday, emergency response teams throughout Green Country are more prepared to handle the aftermath of severe weather.

For the first time ever, Jenks, Bixby and Skiatook teams worked together during a disaster drill.

The group of community emergency response teams [CERT] is now ready to help after a straight line wind event in Jenks at the Newspring Family Church.

"There's a lot going on and you've really gotta focus,” said Laura Konshak of the Bixby CERT.

Each team is made up of members from Bixby, Skiatook and Jenks so they can practice communication skills with people they've just met.

"Come together and learn from each other," stated Konshak.

The teams searched each room in the church, and they had no idea how many pretend victims needed help. During the drill, there were 14 victims in one room.

"Some of these people have never talked on a radio,” said James Mullins of the Jenks CERT. “This is their first chance to have to talk on a radio and communicate that way and make sure they're understood as to who they are, where they need the help."

One at a time, the victims were accounted for, and the volunteers are feeling more prepared for whatever comes their way.

"Whenever we go into a situation, we're gonna know how to react,” Mullins stated.

Jenks Fire Chief Gary Friedel added, "CERT is a great opportunity for our citizens to get preparedness training for disasters and it provides opportunities for those citizen volunteers to assist in a time of a disaster. "