The Kingfisher County Whole Community Planning Group held its quarterly meeting on April
28, 2023 at the Kingfisher Memorial Library. There were 11 in attendance, including those from Kingfisher County Emergency Management, Kingfisher Police Department, Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and Homeland Security, All About Kingfisher, and local businesses. The agenda for this meeting was: changing of officers, hazard mitigation plan update, Tracey Bender with OEM to discuss preparedness, and a tabletop exercise.
The first order of business was changing of officers. Racheal Russell from Mercy Hospital took over as Chairman of the committee and Lt. Brodrick took over as the Vice Chairman.
Next, Steve Loftis, Director of Kingfisher County Emergency Management, gave an update on the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The purpose of Hazard Mitigation Plans is to identify, assess, and reduce long-term risks to life and property from hazardous events. Steve told the group, “Commissioners signed the contract with NODA to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan. We are on the right track and will be having meetings in the near future to get ideas from the community for projects to be put in the plan. The update should take about one year to be completed.”
Tracey Bender, Community Preparedness and Public Outreach Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, discussed the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CERT program aims to teach individuals about disaster preparedness for potential hazards in their area. It provides training in essential disaster response skills, including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Tracey told the group that she could come out and teach a class if Kingfisher County was interested in having a CERT.
Afterward, the team engaged in a tabletop exercise where they walked through an active shooter situation at Mercy Hospital. The Kingfisher Police Department and hospital staff worked together to determine their actions during and after the incident.
The next location and meeting date have not been determined.