The Tulsa Fire Department just wrapped up a three-day training event at the Owasso Fire Department’s training facility.
TFD said it is the first time their firefighters have been there for an organized drill. The facility is set up differently than Tulsa’s and provides new challenges.
Tulsa fire crews completed a drill that replicates a fire that happened in Tulsa, back in 2019. While some firefighters worked to help victims, smoke was still billowing from the house at the training facility. Only one fire truck was on scene and EMSA was not there just yet. It was a scenario that the Tulsa Fire Department said played out two years ago in real life and was the inspiration for this week’s training.
"We're trying to learn from something that was taxing to our crews,” Tulsa Fire Department Captain Chad Meyer said. “It wasn't typical. So it was something where our crews were spread thin. So we're duplicating that."
Meyer said during the three-day training, about 80 firefighters went through the same drill.
The training facility in Owasso has been around for two years, but it is new for some Tulsa firefighters. TFD said some of its firefighters on Oklahoma Task Force One have been there before.
"Even though Tulsa's a big city, major metropolitan department, there's resources that Owasso Fire Department has that we do not,” Meyer said.
Tulsa’s training facility is a tower meant to replicate high rise buildings in the city. Owasso's training ground offers a house, in what looks like an actual neighborhood. It also has a building that replicates a hotel.
Owasso Firefighter Shane McNichol welcomes Tulsa crews to the new challenge.
"You get used to doing the same training in the same building. Everyone knows you make a right, you make a left, you go upstairs. Here we have so many different scenarios,” McNichol said.
"Most importantly it's the citizens of Tulsa that's gonna benefit and the citizens of Owasso because we are gonna be more proficient at our job,” Meyer said.
The Tulsa Fire Department said it does plan to come back to Owasso in the future for more training.