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connec t ion Helping Protect and Serve safety issues, not only for the victims or potential victims of various incidents, but for emergency response personnel who are attempting to provide a variety of services in already less-than-desirable conditions.” For those seeking entry into the program, a week-long course introduces participants to meteorological concepts, radar and the OK-First decision-support system. These Full Certification courses are held twice per year. Fully certified participants may also send their assistants and support staff to a two-day Assistants Course for basic radar interpretation fundamentals. Fully certified participants are required to attend at least one Recertification Course every 18 months. Paula Cain, Emergency Manager Director for Ponca City, is a long-time OK-First user and appreciates the program being designed to help with emergency manager responsibilities. “What I really appreciate about OK First is the dedication to training,” Cain said. “With OK-First, the training is ongoing. Between lessons on the website and the required refresher classes, I am learning something new or understanding something better all the time. I want to emphasize that the training is required for participation. It is easy to neglect keeping up with training needs when you have an emergency manager’s workload, but OK-First staff recognize that training is the most critical element they can provide.” James Hocker, OK-First Program Manager, said since OK-First began in 1996, the mission has been to provide our state’s decision makers with critical weather-related decision-support tools and the associated training on how to best use and interpret them. While much has changed with training, products and how information is received, the core mission remains unchanged. “The specificity of information available to us from the Mesonet greatly enhances our ability to pinpoint important weather-related factors, trends and developments,” Barnes said. “Your continued support and the provision of these services are some of the greatest response tools we have available to us. I know from personal experience, and from multiple discussions with responders of all disciplines from around the state, that Mesonet resources and information are a contributing factor to our ability to protect and serve our citizens.” Volume 4 — Issue 3 — March 2013 www.mesonet.org THE MESONET’S OK-FIRST PROGRAM helps public safety officials make more informed and faster decisions. That is critical during severe weather to save lives, money and resources. “Mesonet information is of tremendous value during many events, including wildland fires, snow & ice storms, wind events, thunderstorm events, hazardous materials events, floods, and I am sure many others,” said David Barnes, Oklahoma County Emergency Manager. “This is true particularly where longer-term, outdoor activities are necessary or where weather factors have a direct impact on protective measures and planned response efforts.” Barnes uses the Mesonet during many occasions, like the Luther wildland fire in August 2012. The products from the Mesonet helped identify wind shifts and changes in wind speed during this event. “This ability directly translates not only to related fire behavior issues, but also has a significant impact on overall incident planning activities and resource needs/utilization decisions,” Barnes said. “All of this supports overall life- –by Stephanie Bowen OK-First offers training throughout the year to provide state decision makers with critical weather-related decision-support tools. Pictured left are emergency managers from across Oklahoma who were certified during our August 2012 class.
|Okla State Agency||
Climatological Survey, Oklahoma
|Okla Agency Code||
|Title||Mesonet connection, 03/2013, v.4 no.3|
Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
|Purpose||Helping Protect and Serve by Stephanie Bowen The Mesonet's OK-First Program helps public safety official make more informed and faster decisions.; Mesonet in Pictures: Radar with Mesonet Winds and Temperatures; Radar with Mesonet Winds; RadarFirst Software; February Brings Winter Storms, Drought Relief by Gary Mcmanus|
|For all issues click||
|Digital Format||PDF, Adobe Reader required|
|ODL electronic copy||Downloaded from agency website: http://www.mesonet.org/mesonet_connection/v4i3.pdf|
|Rights and Permissions||This Oklahoma state government publication is provided for educational purposes under U.S. copyright law. Other usage requires permission of copyright holders.|