Copy-Osage County Uses Helicopter for Active Shooter Training

Sunday, September 16th 2018, 10:27 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics in Osage County say they're better prepared for an active shooter situation than ever before, after training Saturday and Sunday.

The group of about 50 practiced several different scenarios, looking for a pretend active shooter, and helping pretend victims get out of harm's way.

They also used a helicopter for the first time, making everything feel more real. The Survival Flight chopper flew to Pawhuska High School from Oklahoma City and ran through several scenarios where pretend patients were lifted away from the scene. Survival Flight let law enforcement use it for free, which would have otherwise cost thousands of dollars.

"It is a costly event. But the cost of us not being prepared should something like this happen, is far greater,” Survival Flight Chief Pilot Jack Winds said.

The Osage County Sheriff's Office, Osage Nation Police, along with Pawhuska Police, Fire and EMS all worked together. It was the first time they trained at this magnitude for an active shooter.

"Very intense, very realistic – disturbing,” Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said. Standing Bear, along with Osage Nation Police Chief Nick Williams, watched the training unfold.

"It hits you inside, to think this could actually happen,” Williams said.

The goal is for the training to be as realistic as possible.

"If you're not prepared, that's just more casualties, unfortunately,” Osage Nation Sgt. Nick Silva said.

Silva said The Osage Nation / Osage County SWAT Team plans to work with other school districts in the future, to prepare the whole county with the training.