Oklahoma Volunteers Train For Wildfire Response


Saturday, August 8th 2015, 9:56 pm
By: News On 6


Disaster volunteers from across the state are preparing for wildfires by doing training drills.

Three years ago, volunteers responded to the Creek County wildfires, which burned more than 60,000 acres and destroyed 400 homes.

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps was at the OU Schusterman Center on Saturday preparing volunteers to help with real-life disaster.

The volunteers are trained to address every problem that could come up in a shelter.

Corps members help with First Aid and mental health.

Carrie Suns says volunteers always are watching for symptoms of people being out in the heat too long during a wildfire.

“We're making sure folks are screening for heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, not only for people, but for their animals too," Suns said.

Families that evacuate also tend to bring their pets. The volunteers are prepared for that, too.

The Humane Emergency Animal Response Team makes sure pets are cared for when owners are in the shelter.

Medical Reserve Corps volunteers are required to have background checks, carry credentials and have disaster training.

“It benefits the citizens of Oklahoma because it makes for more trained volunteers,” Suns said. “We're more efficient when we come out to help and deploy during disasters."

There are more than 5,200 volunteers signed up with the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. They're ready to go at a moment’s notice.