The City of Owasso’s Public Safety Operations & Training Complex continues to serve as a central facility for regional police and fire crews to hone their skills in the field.
The Tulsa Fire Department recently visited the 10-acre campus for the first time to complete three days of intensive exercises as part of its annual region-wide training regimen.
“These are drills that are a lot more challenging than just normal basic training,” said Barrett Cramer, chief of training for TFD. “Companies volunteer to come out and do this and to test themselves … We’ve noticed that guys gain a lot more through the more challenging stuff.”
Owasso’s $11 million complex, opened Dec. 2019, houses three separate entities on site: Fire Station No. 4, a large training center and the primary headquarters for the Owasso Fire Department.
Tulsa FD ventured north to utilize the facility for live controlled burns and other demonstrations at its state-of-the-art, staged residential and commercial structures.
“These are Class A props … We can actually see what it looks like; we can read the building,” Cramer said. “This is something our guys have never been in … This just gives us an opportunity to grow and learn something different and in a different building we’re not used to.”
Crews were put through a scenario based on an actual call that Tulsa FD received a few years ago, where a single engine performed multiple tasks with limited resources of personnel and equipment. They had to establish their own water supply, make entry, search for victims, extinguish the flames and revive their patients — all before any additional resources arrived on scene.
Owasso fire Chief David Hurst, said he was excited to see Cramer and his crew benefit from his campus’s offerings, which have gone to aid other public safety departments across the Tulsa metro area in the past.
“It was a great three days of training; crews were able to experience real-word training in real-word conditions in a safe training environment,” Hurst said. “The training we are able to do here, in realistic conditions, enable us to hone our skills to better serve our communities.”
Cramer, when asked why training his companies is so important, replied, “We’re just trying to show them, ‘Hey, we do still have to prioritize; we got to be paying attention to what’s going on, who’s coming, where they’re coming, when they’re going to be there.’ We want to challenge our guys to make sure we’re making the right decisions.”