LLIS Innovative Practice: Oklahoma's Regional Response System   [open pdf - 327KB]

"Oklahoma created the Regional Response System (RRS)--a collection of specialized units and equipment--to provide all-hazards response throughout the state within two hours of an incident. RRS units have responded to dozens of incidents, including the May 20, 2013 tornado near Oklahoma City. […] Oklahoma has a diverse risk profile, geographically dispersed population, and limited local emergency management resources. Nationally the state ranks 3rd in the number of Federal disaster declarations, 50th in state emergency management appropriations, and 49th in number of full-time emergency managers. To address these challenges, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security (OKOHS) created a statewide system of specialized units capable of responding to chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, and explosive incidents; agriculture emergencies; technical rescue incidents; and natural disasters. RRS units are strategically placed throughout Oklahoma so they can respond to incidents in any area of the state--even the most rural regions--within two hours. Local governments provide personnel and maintain the equipment, and OKOHS manages RRS deployments based on the size of the incident and the capabilities required. RRS all-hazards units include bomb squads, Technical Rescue Teams, communications units, and Regional Emergency Medical Services System (REMSS) units. In addition, OKOHS provides RRS personnel specialized response training for their discipline."

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