Governor Signs Bill Aimed To Save Lives Following Disasters

Thursday, September 15th 2016, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill Thursday that will save lives following major disasters.

It creates an Oklahoma Incident Management Team, which includes Tulsa's fire chief, Ray Driskell

Several Tulsa firefighters are part of a highly-skilled search and rescue team. They can respond to almost anything, but need this management team to put them where they need to be.

The Oklahoma Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team is constantly training, making sure they're ready to save lives the next time a tornado, earthquake or disaster strikes.

Terry Sivadon with the Tulsa Fire Department said, "We are self-sufficient for 72 hours once we arrive on scene, so we really don't need anything but a job to do. We have all the equipment, canines and manpower to care of it."

Sometimes in the past at major events, like the devastating EF-5 tornado in Moore three years ago, it has taken time to get assigned a job as an incident management team is pulled together.

But Thursday, Fallin signed Senate Bill 1027, creating a statewide Incident Management Team with seven members on board, including Driskell.

"The team is going to help you, ensure you get the fire trucks there. That you stage them, that you get the resources in there, that you get food ordered every day, water, port-a-potties there every day and that you are coordinating with the governor's office,” he said.

The team will take care of everything behind the scenes so rescue coordinator, Sivadon, can get his team out looking for survivors in the debris.

"I think it will just make it a faster transition to get us there in a timely manner so we can get our job done quicker," he said.

The team will also be in charge of checking credentials when emergency responders show up to help, making sure they are qualified to be there.