Special to the Progress
Several local law enforcement, fire, medical, and emergency management agencies met Tuesday afternoon with U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and Will Rogers Memorial Museum officials. The entire group prepared an Emergency Management Incident Action Plan for this weekend’s “Will Rogers & Wiley Post Fly-In” event.
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum, which sponsors the annual affair, has seen participation from pilots, spectators and vendors growing considerably every year. It is estimated that as many as 150 privately-owned aircraft will “fly in” for this Saturday’s occasion.
According to Rogers County Emergency Management Director Scotty Stokes, a lot of time, energy and resources are involved in preparing an emergency plan, which takes into consideration agency coordination, communications, safety suggestions, medical attention, evacuation plans and much more.
Stokes commented, “We are anticipating a huge crowd this weekend. It is everyone’s responsibility to prepare for, and then initiate objectives, which will provide for a safe, family-oriented event.”
In preparing the “Incident Action Plan” it was determined that UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), commonly referred to as “drones”, present a significant threat to manned aircraft and will not be permitted anywhere on the premises of the “Fly In” event, or within an established area of the aircraft landing strip.
Also, smaller ultra-light or similar aircrafts, which are being operated without radio communication capabilities with the event’s Ground Traffic Controller, will not be authorized to fly in the area of the event.
Along with fire personnel, Oologah-Talala Emergency Medical Services and members of the local Air Evacuation Helicopter Life Team, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office will be providing security support from its Patrol, Reserve and Mounted Patrol units.
RCSO Major Coy Jenkins, making reference to his security assignment at this year’s event, commented, “I will have one of the best seats in the house. You would be surprised how much we can see and control from the saddle of our horse.” Jenkins reminded everyone else to bring a lawn chair.
The “Will Rogers & Wiley Post Fly-In” is scheduled for this Saturday, Aug. 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. It is located at 9501 E. 380 Road, near Oologah, Okla. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.