OCS's former Director, Dr. Ken Crawford, and OK-FIRST's former Program Manager, Mr. Dale Morris, have each been recognized by the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association as the state's "Outstanding Contributor to Emergency Management" for their roles in improving decision-making environment for public safety officials. The OK-FIRST program is, and will remain, focused on Oklahoma's public safety and weather issues, but it has also received much attention from beyond Oklahoma.
Through OK-FIRST, OCS has become a role-model in disseminating information from the modernized National Weather Service to the local level. OCS is now routinely approached to share their expertise in managing weather data and outreach programs, particularly in emergency management arena. In recent years, OK-FIRST and OCS have hosted a number of replication workshops for public safety officials in other states and nations. Since 2002, public safety officials from more than 30 outside governments and agencies, from Arkansas to Zambia, have attended OCS/OK-FIRST workshops in Oklahoma.
In 2001, the Stockholm Challenge, a Swedish program that recognizes the world's most effective sharers of information technology, recognized OK-FIRST as a finalist in its Public Services & Democracy category. Later that year, OK-FIRST was recognized as one of the nation's five most innovative government programs by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and their Innovations in American Government program.
Through funds established through the Innovations in American Government Award, OCS maintains an active dialogue with other U.S. states that wish to adapt or replicate OK-FIRST in their states. In March 2005, OCS hosted its "Innovations in Managing Weather-Impacted Situations" workshop for representatives from eleven states. Within six months, four of those states had made substantial progress in upgrading their data services, decision-support or training programs.
From 2003 to 2005, OCS hosted about a dozen officials from the world's developing nations each autumn. These professionals are interested in improving the telecommunications infrastructure of their nations, as well as supporting their emergency management functionality. Their participation in OCS's "Decision-Making in Weather Impacted Disasters" is part of a larger set of courses sponsored by the U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute. In three years, OCS has hosted representatives from The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.
In 2009, OK-FIRST Program Managers Derek Arndt and Andrew Reader were both honored with the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association’s “Outstanding Contributor to Emergency Management” for their work with OK-FIRST and public safety officials.