DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - The National Weather Service had their first storm spotters meeting of the year which was hosted by the Duncan-Stephens County Emergency Management.
Roughly 100 firefighters, police officers, storm spotters, and community members filled the auditorium at Duncan's Red River Technology center to learn new techniques when it comes to storm spotting. For many, this class is a refresher course, but for Mike Edmonds, who lives in the Altus area, he's new to taking the training in-person. He did the course online last year and couldn't wait to take this class.
"This is the first one, and I'm just excited," he said. "It's just in my blood."
Stephens County deputy director Gary Curtis said they hold this class to prepare everyone for the upcoming storm season. He said emergency workers and storm spotters are usually the first ones to spot a tornado so this gives them information on what to look for while they're out there.
"We try to prepare them beforehand to save life's," Curtis said. "That's our main concern."
National Weather Service meteorologist Randy Bowers said they rely on getting information from trained spotters.
"Radar is great because we can get a really good idea on what the storms doing, but we have to have people confirm those warnings, what's actually happening ground level, and that's where spotters are so important," he said.
If someone would like to become a storm spotter, the NWS has more classes scheduled in Altus, Wichita Falls, and Chickasha. For a full list of the classes, locations and times click here.