Members of the Pride of Grove Ridgerunner Marching Band earned grand champion honors in the first Miami Music in Motion Competition and second overall at the Oologah Marching Band competition on Saturday, Sept. 23, in Miami.

In the inaugural in Miami, Grove competed against bands from Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

During the event, hosted jointly by the Miami High School and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M bands, Grove students won the following awards:

Best percussion Class 4A

Best drum major, Class 4A

Best color guard, Class 4A and 

First place, Class 4A.

Overall the band took grand champion honors for the 2017 field show, as well as best percussion.

During the Oologah competition, which brought together more than 20 bands from Kansas and Oklahoma, earned the band five additional awards including:

First place color guard, Class 4A

Third place percussion, Class 4A

Second place overall, Class 4A

Overall the band took second place honors for the 2017 field show, as well second place for the color guard.

Did You Know? Keeping them safe 

John Wylie / news@grovesun.com

Despite a huge crowd, stifling heat, and high humidity a cooperative effort between Oologah Paramedics, Oologah-Talala Schools and other agencies kept health impacts to a minimum from Saturday’s Oologah Marching Band Contest.

Kelly Deal, OTEMS director, said the success of the effort highlights the paramedic ambulance service’s value to the community and the importance of advance planning among multiple agencies—something OTEMS stresses.

“This proactive approach was deeply rooted in providing critical access care at the scene rather than being reactive,” Deal said.

The huge annual event this year drew marching bands from Grove, 22 other Kansas and Oklahoma high schools, and a large crowd on a day when the temperature hit 92 degrees —11 degrees above normal — and the Heat Index exceeded 100 degrees based on preliminary National Weather Service data.

“First and foremost we want to applaud the efforts from the school and particularly the Stallion Battalion band director Jon Matthews for recognizing the need to be proactive in preventing heat related illness for the participants and spectators that attended this event,” said Ryan Setzkorn, assistant director of the Advanced Life Support ambulance officially known as the Oologah-Talala Emergency Medical Services District (OTEMS). “In 2016, we responded to five medical calls and had to call mutual aid for another four patients.

“This year because of the planning and resources put into effect we only had to transport one patient for heat related illness. We evaluated and treated another 10 patients that had heat-related illness despite higher temperatures.”

School officials estimate this year's competition had approximately 2,500 attendees, which includes spectators and participants.

This year there was increased efforts to remind attendees to be aware of the symptoms of heat illness.

Schools were asked to not wear their full uniforms while practicing and even told no points would be deducted from their scores if they chose not to wear the uniform while playing on the football field, Setzkorn said.

Mustang Stadium has artificial turf, which increases the impact of high heat or heat indices.

Dave Davis, a regional coordinator for emergency medical services, created the IAP as well as the medical command post that included response planning with other agencies which besides OTEMS included the Northeast Oklahoma 911 center, Rogers County Emergency Management and the Northwest Rogers County Fire District.

“This was not just a standard First Aid station but a full service Advanced Life Support-capable critical care access point for participants," Setzkorn said. "It was mentioned while we were there about how well the EMS system worked behind the scene and did not create a sense of emergency to other spectators."