OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, today held an interim study focusing on ways to serve first responders.
Presenters at the study discussed current resources and techniques first responders have available, and also shared some stories of programs designed to address this issue, such as one implemented two years ago by the Tulsa Police Department. Additionally, presenters highlighted training and funding needs to better equip first responders and their families in the future.
“Recent years have put a greater spotlight on the mental health needs of our first responders and their families,” Moore said. “Our first responders daily are on the frontline serving the public while also dealing with stress and trauma and other effects within their own ranks. They need proper training and equipment, and it is urgent that we secure additional funding, especially for our police departments.”
Moore has been a leader on this issue at the state Capitol. He has worked with Landmark Recovery to serve individuals with drug and alcohol addiction.
Speakers at today’s interim study included:
Carrie Slatton-Hodges, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Verna Foust, CEO of Red Rock Behavioral Health Services; John Graham, EMSA Chief of Staff; and Sgt. Amber McCarthy with Tulsa Police Department.
Help for first responders can be found at Red Rock’s crisis line 405-987-ROCK (7625) or online at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, https://www.ok.gov/odmhsas/.
Interim studies give lawmakers a chance to hear from experts, asked detailed questions and examine issues in greater depth than is often possible during the legislative session. Today’s study was one of more than 70 approved by the speaker of the House.
Lewis Moore serves District 96 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes parts of Eastern Oklahoma County.