Emergency responders from multiple agencies held their quarterly Community Preparedness Seminar Saturday to inform and educate community members on how to prepare for and tend to emergency situations.
Thirty-three members from the community were in attendance at the free event, held at the Public Safety Training Facility. Topics addressed included: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), how to stop the bleed training — training on how to tend to someone experiencing a bleeding emergency, CPR training and information on how to administer Naloxone/NARCAN and how to identify someone who is overdosing.
The seminar is a partnership between multiple Frederick County agencies such as Division of Fire and Rescue Services, Division of Emergency Management, Health Department, Sheriff’s Office and Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association. Frederick Police Department, Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Health have also partnered with the county for the seminar.
“All of our emergency agencies in Frederick County... offer these classes, and we teach them separately,” said Dennis Dudley, director of the Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness. “Sometimes we get five people, four people, six people. We found if we consolidate all the classes together we would get a bigger group.”
The seminar is held quarterly and is in its second year.
While the trainings are the same as last year, Dudley said the agencies are open to feedback to see what people are interested in.
“There’s a lot of active shooter events so people are interested in that,” he said. “When there’s weather events we might add a weather portion because people might be interested in the weather side.”
While people may attend the seminar for a certain topic, most come with an interest in everything and find all of the topics tie together.
“CRASE seems to be the biggest draw,” Dudley said. “But people want to learn CPR. People may not be interested in Stop the Bleed until after they go through the active shooter training. Then they go, ‘Now that’s something I needed.’”
He said the seminars are important because it’s better for the community to know what to do before something happens.
“The worst thing you can have happen is a major emergency and start going, ‘Oh, what should I do?’” he said. “It’s too late. You need to ask these questions before it happens so you’re prepared.”
Jennifer Ryan, an eighth grade social studies teacher at West Frederick Middle School, decided to come to the seminar after seeing a student in an emergency situation this past school year.
“I saw a high school student having a seizure on the side of the road when I was coming in to park my car at school one morning,” she said. “I stopped and I felt helpless.”
After learning about the different topics and participating in the trainings, the NARCAN training resonated with her the most.
“We should all have it,” she said of NARCAN. “I think every school and every public building should have them.
“As an educator, and working with people’s children, not only do I do what I can to keep kids safe, but I also have to answer to their parents,” she added.
As a teacher, she said her classroom can be safer than it is and wants to make it a safer place to learn.
For more information on upcoming seminars, visit Frederickcountymd.gov.