On Wed., May 24, the Kay County Sheriff’s Office partnered with many different first responder agencies from the county to participate in a joint training exercise in the area of Ponca Lake. Throughout the day, many different types of emergency vehicles could be seen throughout the area. Patrol cars, firetrucks, ambulances, watercraft, atv’s, and even aircrafts were seen during the training exercise. This training took place at several different locations around Ponca City, most in the area of Ponca Lake.
According to the Kay County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the exercise began when first responders arrived near the Went pool main entrance at approximately 7:30 am. Here, the first responders had to work through a difficult, but scripted, homicide scene that led to a search for a suspect and his missing niece, who were played by role players from the community. A search for the suspect’s vehicle, which was planted in a discreet location, began and a search of the immediate area was performed.
Once the suspect’s vehicle was located, the KSO Emergency Response Team was deployed to the area to conduct a tactical search for the suspect Using a drone, the first responders were able to identify several individuals in the wooded area of the Disc golf course. These individuals were quickly identified by the KSO ERT team as “victims” and they immediately began life saving techniques. The KSO ERT and the Ponca City Fire Department worked together to determine that the fastest casualty extraction would be by boat.
With the decision for a boat extraction and the scene progressing, the Ponca City Tac Team was called out to assist in the training exercise. With extreme precision, the drone team, made up of KSO and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics officers, were able to find the suspect and hostage on the east side of the lake.
Commander Josh Henderson and his Tac Team quickly positioned themselves near the suspect and negotiations for the hostage release began.
KSO implemented an “Officer down” rescue operation as a part of their training in which they utilized the KSO ERT and the PCFD boat extraction team with success. After several hours of negotiation with the suspect, the hostage was released without any harm or incidents occurring.
“I need to point out that without volunteer role players from our community we could not br as thorough in out training as we are. Thank you Ponca City Bowman’s Archery Range and the Ponca City Disc Golf Club for letting us use your facilities,” says Undersheriff Sean Grigsba Overall the training exercise was a success and was a great experience for all the departments involved. By the end, Kay County Sheriff’s Office, Ponca City Police Department, Ponca City Fire Department, Eights District Task Force, Oklahoma Game Wardens, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, OSBI, OKP, Kay County Emergency Management, Newkirk Police Department, Heartland Medical Direction, Alliance Health Ponca City Hospital, and Air Evac 128 all participated in the training exercise.