OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Monday kicked off the first of four days for the annual David Wade Memorial Active Attack Conference.
The conference is in its third year and brings together first responders from across the Sooner State to learn how to deal with active attack situations together.
From training on the gun range, working with cadavers and mental health for first responders, EMS professionals, dispatchers, police officers and firefighters from across Oklahoma took part in the training classes on Monday.
“Active attacker training of this caliber is amazing,” said Sgt. Anthony Gibbs, with the Guthrie Police Department who was at the training Monday.
The conference is named after a Logan County deputy who was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice in 2017. Gibbs said he has been to every conference over the past 3 years, and he even has the people he oversees go to it.
“Every one of them are going to be able to take something away and say, ‘Hey, you know what? This either adds to my skill set, it allows me to understand the situation more fully,’” Gibbs said.
The conference is subtitled “Bringing the red and blue together.” Dr. Bill Worden with Heartland Medical Direction said it’s all about bringing people together to learn the same things.
“We all work together, but rarely do we ever train together,” Worden said. “I think we have to train together so we function better.”
Monday and Tuesday are preconference days with the actual conference being on Wednesday and Thursday. Worden said people will learn from speakers like a Sandy Hook dispatcher along with debriefs of past attacks at the Pratt warehouse in Aurora, Illinois and the Santa Fe school shooting in Texas. Everyone hoping that the knowledge can make a difference in the lives of so many.
“I’ve been to conferences out of state and there’s not one that has been better than this,” Gibbs said.
The preconference days are at the Metro Tech Health Careers center. The conference will be held at the south Bryant campus on Wednesday and Thursday.