Stillwater, OSU preparing safety team for Homecoming
Beverly Bryant - October 19, 2016 4:26 pm
STILLWATER – With an estimated 80,000 OSU alumni returning to Stillwater for the 2016 OSU Homecoming Celebration Oct. 20-29, the City of Stillwater’s public safety team understands that the public has concerns about safety at large public events.
“As with any public event of this size, we follow up by examining what took place. Then, we apply any lessons learned to improve safety for any upcoming events,” City Manager Norman McNickle said. “Stillwater is fortunate to have dedicated, hard-working professionals who make sure events like homecoming are as safe as possible for our residents, our student population and our out-of-town guests.”
While McNickle acknowledges that the public safety officials will be making some adjustments for this year’s event, he declines to share those operational details.
He said he was confident that the Stillwater fire, police and emergency management officials, along with its first-responder partners (LifeNet, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State University, OSU Police, OSU ROTC, Payne County Health Department, Payne County Sheriff’s Office, National Guard, Stillwater Medical Center) are ready to protect and serve the public.
Following last year’s tragedy, OU Medical Center honored the City of Stillwater’s first responders with its Outstanding First Response Award in honor of their service.
“The state of Oklahoma and the City of Stillwater are no strangers to large-scale events, and we know how to pull together when times get tough,” Mayor Gina Noble said. “Together with our partners, we’ve planned and prepared for this event just as we always do, and we are looking forward to everyone having a great time returning home to Stillwater to celebrate America’s Greatest Homecoming.”
Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president and CEO, agreed. “Our first responders helped save lives and kept Stillwater strong during difficult times last year. We are thankful for their service then, and we are grateful for their continued efforts to protect and help us celebrate a cherished OSU and community tradition.”
The OSU Homecoming parade begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, moving north on Main Street from 9th Avenue to Hall of Fame Avenue. First responders from 10 local and state organizations will serve as parade grand marshals, including representatives from the City’s police, fire and emergency management departments.