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    Tulsa District hosts training in preparation of hurricane season

    Tulsa District hosts training in preparation of hurricane season

    Photo By Lesley Cox | Members of Tulsa District's Emergency Power Planning and Response team were joined by...... read more read more



    Story by Stacey Reese 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

    TULSA, Okla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District hosted training for the district temporary emergency response team, members of the U.S. Army 249th Engineering Battalion, and personnel from other USACE districts June 14 & 15 at the district headquarters.
    Tulsa District is one of seven Emergency Power Planning and Response teams in USACE. The other teams are based in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Walla Walla, Honolulu, Savannah, and Albuquerque districts. These teams have the capability to deploy and provide support at critical public facilities following a disaster, such as a hurricane.
    “Face to face training was created to enhance the skills and the performance of the Power PRTs across the USACE enterprise,” said Kristen Day, emergency management specialist, Pittsburgh District. “The training will boost the confidence of our members with the new ENGLink Pro/Plus system and expand their knowledge of the Advance Contract Initiate.”

    “Unlike years past trainings and exercises when only 2 or 3 teams train; this year’s face to face road show allows us to train all seven PRTs,” said Day who is part of the team training all of the PRTs for USACE.

    Members of the Tulsa District PRT have a knowledge range from brand new members to members who have deployed multiple times. Although many of the members have deployment experience, the changes to the ENGLink program, which is used by the team necessitated training for members across the board.

    The program is used in all facets of the deployment, telling the team where power is needed, when members of the 249th have assessed the facility that needs the power, when power has been installed, and when the power is no longer needed, and the generator has been returned to the staging area.

    It is vitally important to the impacted communities that the team is ready as soon as it is safe to begin work. Not having a grasp on the system could cause delays in the disaster response. The team works to bring power, via generators to life saving, life sustaining facilities in the effected area, so time is a precious commodity in the hours and days following a disaster.

    “This was refreshing and insightful training provided by the Task Force Temporary Emergency Power Team,” said Brande Serner, Tulsa District team member who has deployed in support of Hurricanes Sandy, Irma, Maria, and Laura since 2012. “I was feeling nervous about the ENGLink system and was anxious to receive some hands-on training.”

    “While the programmatic training was useful, I was more pleased to network with the national team as well as our local PRT and the 249th. Developing relationships with folks prior to a true emergency is crucial to establishing a high functioning and mission focused strike team. I’m encouraged to see the Tulsa PRT work together and simulate our roles during a mission,” said Serner.

    The training included all aspects of a deployment, teaching newcomers about a mission from start to finish. It also covered the responsibilities of FEMA, the 249th, the contractor, and the PRT. It also broke down the roles of each person on the power team and how the team works together as a whole.

    “The power team training gave me a better understanding of deployment expectations and roles of each team member,” said new team member Bailey Helterbrand. “Hearing lessons learned and stories from people who have previously deployed was extremely beneficial in helping me envision what to expect during a PRT deployment. The comradery amongst the team members created a great learning environment.”

    The team works in conjunction with FEMA and the impacted state and local officials during a disaster deployment as well as the Department of Energy and contractors to execute the mission in accordance with the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.



    Date Taken: 06.22.2022
    Date Posted: 06.22.2022 09:42
    Story ID: 423489
    Location: TULSA, OK, US 

    Web Views: 170
    Downloads: 0