Weather Alert:

Lenox, MA

8:00am to 4:30pm

Chainsaw safety skills are essential to first responder safety during critical incident response. Chainsaw operations on a normal day can be dangerous. According to the CDC approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws. When trees are bent over or snapped in half it significantly increases the difficulty of removing them. Following a terrorist incident, first responders may be called on to clear and maintain critical transportation routes which are crucial to delivery of response personnel, equipment and services. The routes are crucial to support supply chain management. When downed trees block transportation routes, first responders are called upon to clear routes with chainsaws.

This training series consists of two training modules: Basic Chainsaw Skills & Safety and Advanced Skills.

In Basic Chainsaw Skills & Safety, students will learn about basic safety equipment and PPE, a saw’s reactive forces, chain tooth parts, and practice felling, notching, hinging and other cutting techniques and calculations. This is a two-day, 16-hour course. Students must attend both complete days. The training is physically demanding, a morning of classroom learning on the first day, followed by field work in the afternoon and full in-field day on Day 2. Students must self assess their ability to meet these demands. This course is a pre-requisite for Advanced Skills training.

In Advanced Skills, students will build on the skills learned in the chainsaw skills & safety class. Additionally, students will learn techniques to relieve pressure commonly found in incident-damaged trees. Topics include hazards, spring poles, hangers and leaners, pulls and splits and others. This is a one-day, 8-hour training. Only students who have completed the Chainsaw Skills & Safety class are eligible. This training is physically demanding, all day in the field. Students must self-assess their ability to meet course demands.

This training is appropriate for Highway, Department of Public Works and Fire Personnel, and other first responders who may be called upon to use chainsaws in the line of duty.

The training is free. Morning coffee, pastries and lunch will be provided. Pandemic safety protocols will be followed.

Two separate sessions of Basic Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held. One session will be held on Monday and Tuesday, June 21 and 22, 2021. The second session will be held on Monday and Tuesday, July 12 and 13, 2021. Both sessions will be held at Lenox DPW, Lenox, MA. Use the form below to register and choose which session you’d like to attend.

The Advanced Skills session will be held on a Friday, July 30, 2021, again at Lenox, DPW. You must have successfully completed Chainsaw Skills and Safety in order to register for this class. The option to register for the Advanced class will be included in your email confirmation if you sign up for the Basic Skills class.

All questions can be directed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager, raine@frcog.org, 413.774.3167 x138

 

 

Williamstown June 19 and Southampton June 25

9 am to 4 pm

Is your department ready for an equine or large animal emergency?

If you witness a horse emergency such as a trailer accident, a horse down in a stall, trapped in a ditch, or in a fire in a stable, would you know how to respond?

Whether you are a public safety official, a first responder, or technical rescue responder, this course is essential to prepare you for an equine emergency.  In this one day course, you’ll learn proper handling techniques and get practical hands-on experience through conducting rescue scenarios using a training mannequin, Lucky the horse.  By the end of the course, you will be able to move large animals safely and quickly in cases of disaster or injury, while preventing potential injuries to the humans involved.  The course offers classroom instruction and hands-on scenarios using our specialized equipment as well as equipment that may be readily available to first responder departments.

The training is taught by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). The training is free and lunch will be provided.

WRHSAC is offering two sessions of the training:

  • Saturday, June 19th in Williamstown, MA 9am – 4pm (registration for this session is closed) or
  • Friday, June 25th in Southampton, MA 9am – 4pm

COVID-19 protocols will be followed. Please wear a mask.

About the MSPCA’s Equine Safety & Rescue Training Program

As the national authority on equine emergency response and rescue, we travel thousands of miles annually to train first responders, veterinarians, humane organizations, and public safety officials in rescue and transportation.

With our innovative rescue equipment, including the Original Rescue Glide® and our horse mannequin Lucky, we conduct hands-on workshops for professionals throughout North America. With the wealth of experience that comes from performing hundreds of real-life rescues, MSPCA staff is able to re-create scenarios that may occur when handling horses and other large animals.

The MSPCA’s expertise in the field of equine rescue has been crucial in the start-up of over two dozen equine ambulance programs throughout the country. As a non-profit agency that is dedicated to the protection of horses everywhere, the MSPCA lends its knowledge and experience to humane organizations, state animal response teams, and others who wish to create similar ambulance programs to serve their communities. WRHSAC is pleased to host MSPCA in delivery this quality training and thanks the State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team (SMART) for their assistance in coordinating the training and locations.

The training is free.

Registration is required.

The training is full and registration is closed. Thank you for your interest.

 

COVID Vaccine Information Sessions

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) sponsored a COVID vaccine information session. The session provided potential Massachusetts Phase One vaccine recipients and providers with information regarding the vaccine/s function, efficacy, developmental history, ongoing research, possible side effects, and more. The session discussed common misconceptions of the vaccines and provided ample time for questions and answers to improve vaccine comprehension and confidence. It helped local police, fire, and public health to be better educated about the vaccine and help them be messengers to the public and their constituencies.

The session was developed and will be facilitated by Dr. Michele Keane-Moore, Senior Lecturer of The Department of Physical and Biological Sciences at Western New England University. Dr. Keane-Moore currently teaches, and has previously conducted research, in immunology and infectious disease. Dr. Keane-Moore also was a reviewer with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and is familiar with the regulatory process being used to evaluate these vaccine candidates. She has also served on Baystate Medical Center’s Institutional Review Board that oversees clinical research for over fifteen years. Dr. Keane-Moore received her doctorate in immunology and infectious disease from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The intended audience was people identified as vaccine recipients in Massachusetts’ Phase One vaccine distribution timeline. This Phase One timeline includes the following groups, in order:

  • Clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  • Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  • Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services
  • Congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters)
  • Home-based healthcare workers
  • Healthcare workers doing non-COVID-facing care

Multiple virtual offerings were held. One session was recorded and is available below.

 

One more live, virtual session will be held on Wednesday, December 30, 2:00pm t0 3:00pm (EST)

Click here to register for Wednesday, Dec 30 at 2:00pm

 

 

Virtual Training

Building Healthy Workplaces: How to promote mental health in first responder organizations training is a series designed to help first responder leadership promote positive mental wellbeing within their organizations.

This virtual training, delivered in four, 2-hour, live, virtual sessions offers deep discussion and planning leadership can follow to build healthy workplace environments. The session will be held on the following dates and times. Registration is required, please complete the form at the bottom of this page to register. 

  • Friday, January 22, 2021 – 10:00am to noon
  • Friday, January 29, 2021  – 10:00am to noon
  • Friday, February 5, 2021 – 10:00am to noon
  • Friday, February 12, 2021 – 10:00am to noon

Attendance at all four sessions is recommended as each session builds on the last. This is an interactive training and access to audio and visual capabilities are required. Complete the form below to register.

Participation in the training is prioritized for first responder leadership in Western Massachusetts. Submitted registration will be reviewed to ensure participants are in a leadership. Complete the form below to apply. The training is free. Class size is limited, so please submit your interest soon.

The self-paced, online Introduction to Building Healthy Workplaces is a prerequisite for the virtual series. This introduction provides background and overview of common mental health topics and evidence-based information which the virtual session will explore more deeply. The introduction training is free.

Complete this form to apply for the leadership training.

American Sign Language for First Responders

Multiple Times

WRHSAC is offering American Sign Language for First Responders Training Series throughout November and December 2020.

The training is specifically designed to prepare first responders to interact with Deaf Citizens confidently and comfortably.

Sessions will be held live via Zoom. The training is interactive, fun and designed for easy learning and high retention. It includes ample one on one personalized practice with a deaf instructor.

Two versions of the training are being offered, one specifically for law enforcement and the other for Public Health, Hospital, Fire and EMS responders. Multiple sessions of each training are being held to reach a high number of responders while also keeping class size small for ample practice time for each student.

The training is free. Registration is required.

Click here to learn more and register for the training for Public Health, Hospital, Fire and EMS. 2.5 hours OEMS credits are available.

Turner Falls Fire Department, 180 Turnpike Road, Turners Falls, MA

8:00am to 4:30pm

Chainsaw operations on a normal day can be dangerous. When trees are bent, snapped, or tangled in piles of debris because of a weather incident, hazards are increased significantly. With the frequency of tornados and hurricanes affecting western Massachusetts in recent years, highway crews and firefighters are being called on more and more to clear debris from roads. Chainsaw safety skills are essential to first responder safety during debris management response.

This training series consists of two training modules: Chainsaw Skills & Safety and After the Storm.

In Chainsaw Skills & Safety, students will learn about basic safety equipment and PPE, a saw’s reactive forces, chain tooth parts, and practice felling, notching, hinging and other cutting techniques and calculations. This is a two-day, 16-hour course. Students must attend both complete days. The training is physically demanding, a morning of classroom learning on the first day, followed by field work in the afternoon and full in-field day on Day 2. Students must self assess their ability to meet these demands. This course is a pre-requisite for After the Storm training.

In After the Storm, students will build on the skills learned in the chainsaw skills & safety class. Additionally, students will learn techniques to relieve pressure commonly found in storm-damaged trees. Topics include hazards, spring poles, hangers and leaners, pulls and splits and others. This is a one-day, 8-hour training. Only students who have completed the Chainsaw Skills & Safety class are eligible. This training is physically demanding, all day in the field. Students must self-assess their ability to meet course demands.

This training is appropriate for Highway, Department of Public Works and Fire Personnel, and other first responders who may be called upon to use chainsaws in the line of duty.

The training is free. Lunch will be provided. Pandemic safety protocols will be followed. Masks are required, and social distancing will be followed.

Two separate sessions of Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held. One session will be held on Thursday and Friday, October 15 & 16, 2020. The second session will be held on Thursday and Friday, November 5 & 6, 2020. Both sessions will be held at Turners Falls Fire Department, Turners Falls, MA. Use the form below to register and choose which session you’d like to attend. Both sessions are full. Use the form below to be placed on the waiting list.

The After the Storm session will be held on a Tuesday, November 10, 2020, again at Turners Falls Fire Department. You must have successfully completed Chainsaw Skills and Safety in order to register for this class. Click here to register for After the Storm training.

All questions can be directed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager, raine@frcog.org, 413.774.3167 x138

The Basic Skills and Safety Session are full. Complete the form below to be placed on the waiting list.

 

 

Greenfield Community College and Monson Police Department

Multiple Sessions

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council and Greenfield Community College Police Department invite you to a demonstration of the recently acquired Portable Training Facility.

The Portable Training Facility (PTF) is primarily designed as a law enforcement scenario training facility. It can be set up anywhere, removing the restraint of finding an unoccupied structure. It can easily be reconfigured to simulate a variety of environments.  The PTF is available for borrow by all law enforcement and fire/EMS departments in western Massachusetts.

Demonstrations will be held on Wednesday, October 7th in Greenfield and on Thursday, October 8th in Monson. Multiple sessions are being held to comply with Massachusetts gathering restrictions due to COVID-19.

Registration is required to ensure gathering restrictions compliance.
Register using the form below.

The demonstration will include set-up and take-down, reconfiguration and more of the Portable Training Facility. Additionally, other Law Enforcement Training Equipment purchased by WRHSAC and hosted at Greenfield and Bernardston Polices Departments will be on display at the sessions held in Greenfield. Equipment in these caches include simunition pistols and rifle conversion kits, protective gear and marking cartridges.

The PTF manufacturer, Ultimate Training Munitions, will be on site at all sessions to explain the PTF in detail and provide information on other training equipment.

We hope you can join us. Register below.

WRHSAC is grateful to the Police Departments of Greenfield Community College, Greenfield and Bernardston for hosting, securing and maintaining this equipment as a resource to the region.

The demonstration session will be held outdoors. Please dress appropriate for the weather. Masks are required and social distancing will be practiced.

Registration is required.

Complete this form to register.

 

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No Meetings in August

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Training and Exercise Subcommittee, and the Western Massachusetts Regional Interoperability Committee (WMRIC) will not meet in August. The regular monthly meeting will resume in September on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. The meetings will be held virtually. Meeting access will be added to the website calendar in early September.

Online Webinar

10:00am to noon

Develop a Cyber Incident Response Plan

You are invited to a FREE workshop to develop your municipality’s Cyber Incident Response Plan. Please join the MassCyberCenter and the Western Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council for the first of two workshops on Monday, July 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

These workshops are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via the MassCyberCenter at MassTech Collaborative. These sessions will give you the opportunity to:

1.  Prioritize the assets you need to protect;

2.  Build a cybersecurity team;

3.  Create processes to mitigate vulnerabilities; and

4.  Raise awareness internally about the importance of cybersecurity.

This is the first of two workshops. We encourage all municipality management, information security teams, and/or first responders to join these sessions. More information on the workshops can be found here.

Click here to register.

If you have any questions, please contact MassCyberCenter@masstech.org

First Responder Resiliency and Wellbeing Resources Update April 9, 2020

More mental health resiliency and wellbeing resources for First Responders. The resources listed below are not managed by WRHSAC, rather they have been gathered by WRHSAC and are offered as potential resources.

Resources from Lexipol

Lexipol.com has developed an assortment of trainings, policies and resources to support first responders’ efforts in the COVID-19 response. Access is free and can be found here.

Here are a couple upcoming Lexipol webinars that might be helpful. (Please note these webinars are offered and managed by Lexipol. WRHSAC does not have any access or scheduling information. Please direct question to Lexipol at customersupport@lexipol.com

  • “Law Enforcement Peer Support: Therapeutic and Legal” scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, 1 pm ET/10 am PT. For more information and to register click here.
  • “Critical Stress Management: Corrections” for Corrections Professionals scheduled for on May 18, 1 pm ET/10 am PT. For more information and to register click here.

In the last WRHSAC newsletter, we shared a link to “First Responders, Stress Management and Coronavirus” webinar hosted by Lexipol held on April 3. The webinar was recorded and is available here.

Stress Resilience Training Free Webinar
Kripalu RISE Program
Wednesday, April 15 at 12:00pm ET

Kripalu is offering a free, one-hour webinar from their stress resilience program – RISE.

What Kripalu says about RISE:

“RISE promotes the importance of self-awareness and self-care while delivering accessible tools to navigate stress. Although it is widely used by first responders, healthcare workers, and educators, it is suitable for everyone—including executive leaders, parents who are working full time and homeschooling, or anyone trying to handle the challenges of long-term isolation.

Hosted by Sam Chase, an experienced facilitator of programs focused on mindfulness, yoga, and resilience for organizations, this one hour webinar will explore the core concept of “Staying Centered” and how to develop the capacity for effective self-regulation.

Click here to register for this free webinar.

Helpful Free Meditation App

Insight Timer is a smartphone app and online community for meditation. The app features guided meditations, music and talks posted by contributing experts. The app offers more than 29,000 free guided meditations addressing topics like stress, anxiety, difficult emotions, sleep and more. Find the app where ever you locate your apps.