OKLAHOMA, Okla. (KOKI) — Hundreds of first responders from all over Oklahoma have been sent to Louisiana to provide emergency response efforts to Hurricane Ida.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Mark Gower announced Monday, that 150 first responders have been sent to provide support with water rescues, search and shelter operations.
“Oklahoma is proud to be able to once again assist the people of Louisiana in their time of need,” said Gower. “We have been the recipient of support from neighboring states in the past, and we are willing to do whatever we can to return the favor and help Louisiana as they respond to another storm.”
In addition to 150 first responders being sent, the Oklahoma National Guard announced they will be sending 500 Guardsmen to also assist in relief efforts. They said the first group will head to Louisiana on Tuesday. They said Guardsmen will focus on helping with route clearance, security, levee reinforcement and general support operations.
“This is what the National Guard is for,” said Col. Bob Walter, Commander of the Oklahoma National Guard Joint Task Force, who deployed in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005. “Our organization is proud to help our neighbors in need, just as we did for both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey, and just as other states have done for us.”
Oklahoma agencies currently assisting in Louisiana include:
- Creek Nation Emergency Management
- Mayes County Emergency Management
- Grand River Dam Authority
- Quapaw Tribe Emergency Management
- Craig County Emergency Management
- Washington County Emergency Management
- Pittsburg County Emergency Management
- Coal County Emergency Management
- Bryan County Emergency Management
- Wagoner County Emergency Management
- Broken Arrow Fire
- Bethany Fire
- Edmond Fire
- Oklahoma City Fire
- Norman Fire
- Owasso Fire
- Sand Springs Fire
- Tulsa Fire
- Verdigris Fire
- Oklahoma City Police
- Tulsa Police
- Oklahoma Highway Patrol
- Oklahoma State Department of Health
The various Oklahoma agencies announced by Governor Stitt, are deployed through the Interstate Emergency Response Support Plan, a regional mutual aid agreement for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 states, and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC is a national mutual aid system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states.
The Oklahoma National Guard says their request for support came from Louisiana’s Office of Emergency Management under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national disaster relief compact that offers assistance to governor-declared states of emergencies or disasters.
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