Emergency Management Director Randy Jackson says there is exciting news in his department. A new Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C) is in the works near the Ki-Ho-Ta building in Miami, Okla. There will also be two new storm shelters, one for employees near the processing plant and another near the title six building, both located in Quapaw, Okla. and capable of holding up to 55 people.
With the Ki-Ho-Ta building recently constructing an addition that will house the Quapaw Nation Marshalls, it will be beneficial and convenient to have a neighboring Emergency Operations Center nearby. The Emergency Operations Center will be a multi-use building capable of withstanding most types of tornadoes and violent storms to dispatch emergency assistance that might otherwise be unavailable if a violent storm takes out the center. There will be a space to watch the weather with multiple televisions in a centralized location secure from any lurking storms, and dispatchers to direct emergency services where required. The ground has been broken on the E.O.C. dirt, and concrete work has been started, with building materials expected to arrive in early September. The department hopes to have the building open by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
The Emergency Management team has also recently brought on a very special K-9 named Kuno and his handler Hugh. Kuno is a 3 year old yellow English Labrador known for his friendly nature and keen sense of smell. Kuno has earned his National Certification for "live find and area search." With this type of certification, Kuno has the ability to track the last known area of the individual by their scent. "For instance, if an elderly person or a young child wanders off, Kuno will be able to track them from their last known location." Mr. Jackson explained. Kuno is also trained to find human remains and has already had multiple successes in that area. Wyandotte Nation recently called to request Kuno's assistance in finding unmarked graves in their local cemetery, and in another case, the F.B.I used Kuno to find a missing person. One thing is for sure: anyone who meets Kuno is in for a treat with his loving and energetic personality that matches the same as his trainer's, handler Hugh Murray Jr.
Recently, the Marshals service moved into their new building on the south side of the Ki-Ho-Ta building in Miami, Okla. The Marshal's Chief Josh Lewis says this is a huge improvement from their old spaces in Picher, Okla. Everything is now in one location with improved monitoring and an electronic system, rather than the old lock and key securement. The Marshals also gained much-needed equipment such as body-worn
cameras to show the officer's location in case of trouble and help the officer take better witness statements. Before, they counted on a written report only.
So what happens to the buildings in Picher, Okla.? The building will now be used to train for warrants, high-risk traffic stops, defensive tactics, and physical training. The Marshals will also be able to host more training with other agencies in their newly acquired space. The ropes course in September and a confined space training in October have already been scheduled. The Marshals will be attending classes in the next month, such as U.S.A.R., which stands for Urban Search and Rescue. U.S.A.R. training will give the Marshals the necessary skills to be able to assist and work alongside the Fire and Rescue team.
The department has become a vital asset to our community. They hope to continue their growth and build their reputation in the area. Since the move to the new building, they have acquired several new officers. They also have two K-9 officers, one being a retriever named Leo and the other a Belgian Malinois named Kronos. One of the K-9s is an active-duty officer, and the other is due to be trained. Both K-9s are to specialize in finding narcotics. With the department now being located near the Fire and E.M.S. Building and the upcoming Emergency Management Center, the Quapaw Nation D.P.S. departments will become stronger and have much more room to succeed for the community and the Quapaw people.
Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS
Fire and Emergency Medical Services play a prominent role in the Quapaw Nation Department of Public Safety division and our community with many staff under long-tenured (20 years with the tribe, 12 with the Quapaw Nation Fire/EMS, and 37 years as a firefighter), Fire and EMS Chief, William “Leon” Crow. There are currently three Fire Departments; Fire Station 1, located on Highway 69A in Miami, Okla.; Fire Station 2, located at Downstream Casino and Resort; and Fire Station Three, located in Wyandotte, Okla. At each fire station, there are two paramedics and two emergency medical technicians (EMT Basics) on staff at all times year-round. In addition to the Emergency Medical Services, the Quapaw Nation provides a Community Paramedic Service serviced by Quapaw Nation Paramedic Kyle Arnall. The Community Paramedic will respond to non-life-threatening calls such as bandaging up a wound, checking blood pressure, or assessing a minor injury, which frees up a lot of EMS ambulance time for life-threatening situations.
If working as an EMT sounds like an interesting career choice for you or someone you know, the Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS department offers EMT Basic classes to qualified individuals. The classes are also free of charge to CDIB Quapaw members, with citizens only being asked to cover the cost of books. The 240-hour course is held once a year in September. Although the 2021 class has already begun, the classes are held every September with an opportunity to work within the Quapaw Nation or other hospitals and facilities. Pay increases with time and experience levels.
Among all of the Fire and EMS staff, Fire and EMS Chief Leon Crow says they also have an arson dog on staff, Ron, whose handler is officer Tim Reeves, also of the Quapaw Nation team. Ron has been working with arson cases for years and is due to retire as they are only allowed to legally perform a certain amount of years due to their nose becoming desensitized after many years of service. The K-9 can locate where a fire originated from by scent, which helps investigate how the fire started and if there was any foul play. K-9 officer Ron has been able to be used in court against offenders in the past. Thank you for all your years of service, K-9 Officer Ron!
Upcoming news with the Fire and EMS Department may mean a new Fire Station located in Wyandotte, Okla., at Fire Station Three. The Quapaw Nation has submitted an ICDBG grant in hopes of funding in the near future. The Fire Station in Wyandotte is currently the city's property that they allow Quapaw Nation to use. The Quapaw Nation Fire/EMS service located in Wyandotte would like to join the city as a joint venture. Wyandotte would provide the land, and Quapaw Nation would supply the building. The station serves a wide area and could use a new building space that would allow for a new brush truck for wildland fires and space for the two ambulances and pumper/tanker truck currently housed at the station in Wyandotte. Many of these men and women serving for the Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS dept. work many hours and have made a great name for our tribe; therefore, this funding would be a blessing to the Nation and utilized to serve the community better. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to all the Quapaw Nation Fire and EMS staff.