Weather Alert:

Virtual

10:30am to 11:30am Consecutive Thursdays in July 2022

Frontline personnel are regularly encountering people who present as hostile or readily escalate to hostile with minimal stimulus.

This training series will provide:

  • De-escalation techniques
  • Strategies to prevent disruption
  • Strategies to manage challenging group dynamics
  • Techniques to support frontline personnel dealing with hostility and aggression and more

Update July 5, 2022 – This training series is full. Thank you for your interest. For questions please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager. 

Update July 1, 2022 – Registration for Workshops 1 & 2 is closed. We still have some seats in Workshop 3.

Please complete the form below.

  1. Workshop #1 – Working with Challenging One-on-one Frontline Interactions
    Thursday, July 14, 2022, 10:30 – 11:30am via Zoom 

 Proposed audience: People on the front lines, at front desks/reception, first on scene, etc. who deal with individuals initially refusing to respect policies or guidelines, expressing some degree of hostility or aggression, demanding immediate responses, etc.

 Objectives: Introduce approaches to de-escalation; identify and practice key de-escalation techniques.

  1. Workshop #2 – Working in Challenging Group/Community Settings
    Thursday, July 21, 2022, 10:30 – 11:30am via Zoom 

Proposed audience: People organizing group meetings or events, people potentially dealing with multiple challenging interactions with irritated/aggressive people simultaneously

Objectives: Introduce techniques for designing and facilitating meetings or events to prevent disruption; discuss approaches to handling challenging group dynamics.

 

  1. Workshop #3 – Supporting Others Dealing with Challenging Dynamics
    Thursday, July 28, 2022, 10:30 – 11:30am via Zoom

Proposed audience: Both people who want to support peers/colleagues dealing with challenging interactions, and people who can impact workplace structures, processes and culture

Objectives: Introduce techniques for third-party intervention to support peers or colleagues dealing with hostility or aggression; explore ways our businesses/organizations/institutions can support front-line workers dealing with challenges.

These sessions are applicable to first responders, municipal officials, hospital personnel, front-line and essential workers, and supervisors. Please share this training with your colleagues, supervisors, staff and others who may be interested.

Please complete the following form to register. You may register for one, two or all of the sessions. A link to participate will be provided to you in a confirmation email.

Update July 5, 2022 – Registration for this training series is full. Thank you for your interest. Inquiries can be directed to Raine Brown. 

 

Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, May

8:30am to 5:00pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and the Western Mass Fire Chiefs Association (WMFCA) are hosting a 3-day Fire Officer Advanced Tactics and Strategies Training Program on Monday through Wednesday, May 16 through 18, 2022 in Chicopee, MA. The program will be facilitated by Nick Martin from Combat Ready Fire Training – an instructor many fire officer may be familiar with from his presentations at the Fire Chiefs of Massachusetts annual conference. The three days of trainings are as follows:

The training is free. Lunch will be provided. You may attend either one or both of Day One and Day Two. Participation in Day One or Day Two is a prerequisite to attend Day Three.

Registration is required. Complete the form below to register. 

Day One

First Alarm Strategy and Tactics

– Monday, May 16, 8:30 am to 5:00pm

This training will focus on the decisions made by fire officers the first hours of firefighting at the most common building types. The facilitator will draw from real world experience to detail fireground proven strategies and tactics for fires in single-family dwellings, multiple-family dwellings, and commercial buildings. Tactical options for the most common fire scenarios will be reviewed. Decision making models for rapidly selecting the most appropriate engine and truck company operations will be presented. The information in this interactive program will be appropriate for both new and veteran fire officers and will facilitate better and more rapid decision making to stop a fire and save lives.

Topics include:

  • Setting up for success
  • Incident size-up
  • Modern fire behavior
  • Risk assessment
  • Strategy determination
  • Engine Company Tactics
  • Ladder Company Tactics
  • Rapid intervention operations
  • Single family dwelling fire tactics
  • Multi-family dwelling fire tactics
  • Commercial fire tactics
  • Defensive fire strategies
  • Post incident analysis and learning

Day Two

Aggressive Command supports Aggressive Firefighting

, Tuesday, May 17

Balanced incident command systems are hard to come by. Cumbersome command practices that allow a building to burn down while command is “setup” are as frustrating and problematic as the lack of any strong direction and organization.

Departments must avoid impractical command practices that slow or hamper putting the fire out but must also avoid a lack of strong command that fails to organize the incident and aggressively deploy crews to solve the problem.  This program discusses best practices incident commanders can use to maximize the capabilities of their firefighting forces.

This topic will be for chief and company officers. A strong understanding of each other’s jobs and a mutual respect are key to any incident’s success. This training will serve as a forum for chiefs and officers to discuss and learn about each other’s roles, the jobs of each within the command system and practices that make each more successful, both as individuals and as a team.

Students will be taught a methodical process that can be used to manage incidents properly and aggressively. The training includes the following components: Aggressive Command Mindset; Pre-Incident Musts for Success; and Strong Command for Strong Firefighting.

Day Three – This session is full. Complete the form below to be added to the waitlist. 

Interactive Command Simulations

Wednesday, May 18

Students will be provided with scenarios to integrate command post and officer operations at a fire incident. Students will be able to incorporate concepts and learning from the previous days training. Simulations will range in complexity from single alarm house fire to multi-alarm fires. 

Registration for this training is closed. Thank you for your interest. 

Northampton

8:30am to 4:30pm

Many fire departments may not be prepared to respond to the challenges presented by large commercial vehicle accidents, such as a tractor trailer or tanker rollover. The amount of equipment and personnel necessary to handle these types of accidents could easily overwhelm a department.

Stabilizing, lifting and capturing are three vital components associated with a successful rescue operation when dealing with a confirmed vehicle pin. Remove any one of these, and the results could be disastrous for the victim and rescuers.

Vehicle Stabilization and Lift Training for First Responders will help participants to understand the risks inherent in a vehicle rollover and pinning, and provide the skills to be able to lay out a plan of response and implement it.

The training is free. It is a two day training. Registration is required – see below.

The objective of this training is to build a solid operational foundation based on the three aspects of lifting (stabilization, lifting, & capturing) and tie them together to insure a positive outcome. Students will learn methods to facilitate occupant extrication, without putting first responders at risk.

The training focus will be hands on learning, leading the students through rotations to simulate real life scenarios involving motor vehicles, construction equipment, and big rigs.  Classroom style orientation will introduce concepts and equipment on the morning of the first day. The class will then proceed to hands on learning for the remaining day and a half. The two-day training will afford students ample tool time using high pressure airbags, hydraulic jacks, hydraulic rescue tools, Res-q-Jacks, Struts, Griphoists, chain & binders and more.

Departments who are primary responders to the Interstate 91 Corridor will be given priority for this training. Others will be waitlisted and notified if space is available. The training is limited to 32 students.

The training will be held in Northampton on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19 and 20, 2022, 8:30am to 4:30pm. It is a 2-day training. You must be able to attend both days.

Registration for this training is closed. Thank you for your interest.  

 

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Training

UPDATE April 19, 2022 – Both sessions of this class are full and the waitlist is at capacity. Thank you for your interest. 

WRHSAC is providing two sessions of 2-day Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) training in western Mass. Registration is required. See below. the training is free.

Developed by NAEMT’s Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Committee, the TECC program is based on the guidelines from the Committee on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (Co-TECC) and the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) program. TECC uses lessons learned from our military and applies them to the civilian world of tactical medicine.

This 16-hour course covers topics designed to decrease preventable death in the tactical situation.  Topics include: Hemorrhage control; surgical airway control and needle decompression; strategies for treating wounded responders in threatening environments; caring for pediatric patients; and techniques for dragging and carrying victims to safety.

At the core of the TECC program are three distinct phases that have been well-proven by TCCC-trained personnel in the war against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The phases are as follows:

  • Direct Threat Care
    Care that is rendered while under attack or in adverse conditions.
  • Indirect Threat Care
    Care that is rendered while the threat has been suppressed, but may resurface at any point.
  • Evacuation
    Care that is rendered while the casualty is being evacuated from the incident site.

TECC is recommended by NFPA 3000 and focuses on the medicine during these phases of care and provides guidelines for managing trauma in the civilian tactical or hazardous environment. While TECC has a tactical slant, it takes an all-hazards approach to providing care outside the normal operating conditions of most EMS agencies, such as responding to a mass casualty or active shooter event.

Registration is required for this training. Priority is being given to medic members of Special Response Teams in the region.

For a limited time, registration is only open to SRT members. Registration will be open to all medical first responders on April 4, 2022. SRT members may register after this date if space is available, however space will not be guaranteed.

As course space allows, the training will be open to EMS and other medical first responders.

16 hours of CAPCE credit is approved for this activity to all levels of provider.

Two sessions of the two-day training are being held. You must be able to attend both complete days of the training.

Training dates and locations:

  • May 23 and 24, 2022 Monday and Tuesday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, Turners Falls, MA.
  • June 9 and 10, 2022, Thursday and Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, Southwick, MA.

The training is free and lunch will be provided. 

UPDATE April 19, 2022 – Both sessions of this class are full and the waitlist is at capacity. Thank you for your interest. 

 

For All Municipal Departments

This workshop series will assist municipalities in taking immediate actions to address IT and cybersecurity needs and will also help guide the formation, policy, and procedures of possible future regionalized IT and cybersecurity solutions.

You may attend one, some or all of the following virtual workshops. A link to register for each individual session is included in the workshop description below. The workshops will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date – however – attending the live workshops is strongly encouraged for direct engagement with the facilitators and guest speakers.

The workshops will be conducted by Novus Insight, a firm specializing in providing IT and cybersecurity solutions to municipalities.

 


Workshop 1:  Positioning Technology & Cybersecurity as a Strategic Imperative

Target Audience: Executive Leadership, Selectboard Members

Session 1 – Support and Planning

Tuesday, September 14, 2021. 9am-10:30am.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuc-yorDIqGd2rIbDdsXRh1QyK0DX-Q-dw

  • Myth-busting – “Tech is overhead.” No, it’s not.
  • Why secure technology is the foundation of modern government services
  • Solving the budget problem starts with cultivating buy-in
    • How to talk tech without talking tech
    • How to (more) confidently sell stakeholders and constituents on the need for tech & cyber budgeting
  • Creating strategic plans that are supported by technology

Session 2 – Internal Change Management

Thursday, September 30, 2021. 1pm-2:30pm.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsceyrqD0pG9UpZvNaUA67TvUL4raI-CSp

  • Breaking old habits – creating a culture to support change
  • Incorporating policy & procedure development and incident response planning into municipal budgets
  • Creating more of a culture of cybersecurity

Workshop 2:  Best Practices in IT/Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures Workshop

Target Audience: Executive Leadership, IT Personnel

Session 1 – Overview of a Cybersecurity Program

Thursday, October 14th, 2021. 9am-10:30am.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtdequpzkvEtRlOUogvLKp1cgKJkRm-132

  • Understanding the important distinctions and interrelationship between policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards
  • Relevance — How does my cybersecurity program relate to and impact the day-to-day operations of the municipality?
  • Components of a cybersecurity program and the importance of each

Session 2 – Building a Cybersecurity Program

Tuesday, October 26th, 1pm-2:30pm

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtdOqsrj8tE9Y93xSt58Ks1W9IBXdqu838

  • Templates that will get you started
    • Using the templates to drive other components of your overall IT program such as backup and recovery, incident response, and IT asset management
  • The role of executive leadership
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Making the program understandable and relevant to all — employees, board and commission members, external parties, the public

 

Workshop 3:  Incident Response Planning Workshop

Target Audience: Executive Leadership, IT Personnel, Emergency Operations & Critical Infrastructure (i.e. WPC)

Session 1 – Introduction of the cyber incident response plan template and implementation checklist tool

Wednesday, November 3, 2021. 9am-10:30am.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtdumurDorGd3etwF0WULXvyexlcPKZVsm

  • Identifying and understanding the municipality’s key information assets and the risk of them being breached or removed
    • Novus will provide an asset inventory worksheet for collecting and categorizing assets
  • Identifying whether assets are within your control or a third party’s, or if it is a shared responsibility
  • Understanding your in-house capabilities vs. need for external expertise/resources
  • How to assemble an incident response team

Session 2 – Implementing an IRP and addressing tool implementation barriers and /questions

Wednesday, November 17, 2021. 1pm-2:30pm

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUuceyuqzkqGtU7cUa077aUdvR6pwj69Tk3

  • Preparing a tailored Incident Response Plan including:
    • Guidelines for who to inform when data is breached or exposed
    • Establishing the severity of a breach and the level of response required
  • How your IRP should fit within your business continuity and disaster recovery strategies
  • How to test your incident response plan

* Each participant will leave with a set of materials and templates allowing them to custom tailor their plan.


Workshop 4:  Security and Compliance Workshop

Target Audience: Executive Leadership, Any departments dealing with sensitive information (i.e. Police, Fire, HR)

Thursday, December 2, 2021. 9am-11am.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoc-iuqT0pGd34UEJtny2hUh2UqetDuVsd

  • Most common sensitive data types in a municipality
    • PII
    • PHI (the 2 things needed with data for it to be considered PHI and regulated by HIPAA)
    • FERPA
    • CJIS
    • PCI
  • Identifying sensitive data in your environment
  • Strategies for protecting sensitive data and end user education
  • When all else fails, there’s insurance. An overview of cyber insurance and what’s included.
  • FOIA, record retention, and e-discovery
  • Baseline standards and best practices for a security and compliance program

Workshop 5:  State IT/Cybersecurity Efforts and Resources Workshop

Target Audience: Executive Leadership, IT Personnel

Thursday, December 16, 2021. 9am-10:30am.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtcOqurD0rG9wtjXL5oJ7Isbxh2cbQtfsA

  • Overview of Massachusetts-specific municipal IT and security resources

Presentations by representatives from state agencies, MIIA, and potentially federal resources

Lanesborough and Erving, MA

All the sessions are full. Thank you for your interest in the training. 

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. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required (see form below). Pandemic safety protocols will be followed.

Multiple sessions of Basic Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held as follows:

  • Saturday and Sunday, August 14 and 15, 2021, Lanesborough, MA
  • Thursday and Friday, September 9 and 10, 2021, Lanesborough, MA
  • Monday and Tuesday, October 4 and 5, 2021, Erving, MA and
  • Monday and Tuesday, October 25 and 26, Erving, MA

 

All the sessions are full. Thank you for your interest in the training. 

Two sessions of the Advanced Skills training will be held as follows:

  • Thursday, September 23, 2021, Lanesborough, MA and
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021, Erving, MA

 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 when 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.

 

Virtual Training

10am to Noon

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. 

  • Thursday, March 17, 2022 – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, March 24, 2022  – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, March 31, 2022 – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, April 7, 2022 – 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 role. 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.

Registration for this training is closed. 

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.

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