East Central University hosts training for emergency responders

The Ada, Oklahoma-based East Central University hosted an emergency response training exercise last week to train local first responders to respond to terrorism and other disasters.

Approximately 100 first responders from 10 different Oklahoma agencies took part in the simulations. The exercises taught the responders how to deal with hazardous chemicals, explosions and mock shootings, Kxii.com reports.

Sgt. Chris Cummins, a member of the Norman-based 63rd WMD civil support team (CST), said there can never be too much training for emergencies.

"If you're not trained up to know what you're doing, you could ultimately take your life or your buddy's next to you," Cummins said, according to Kxii.com. "We actually just left Durant courthouse here recently. They had a white powder scare and it's just, you never know."

Sgt. Neal Casey, another member of the CST, said training exercises allow you to make mistakes without repercussions. If you make an error in the real world, the result can be tragic.

"We're going to come back for another exercise tomorrow," Casey said, according to Kxii.com. "Could be something totally different, and then Thursday we'll kind of do a little group, kind of talk about how it went, ups and downs about it."

Chris McGill, the emergency medical services operations supervisor for Mercy Ada, said learning to work with other first responders saves lives, Kxii.com reports.

"It gets us all in the same room talking to each other, and we get to know each other, and we build relationships, and when the real event happens, we know each other when we show up," McGill said, according to Kxii.com.