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

Registration is required. Click here to register.

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.

Please complete the form below to register.

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.

 

Oops! We could not locate your form.

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

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Space has become available in the upcoming Active Threat Integrative Response Course (ATIRC) WRHSAC is hosting in January, 2020. Registration to this course was previously open by invitation only, however not all seats were filled, so the course is now open to the region.

ATIRC is a rescue task force training. It is a 24-hour performance level course taught by the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training of Louisiana State University designed to improve integration between law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) in active shooter events in warm zone/rescue task force operations.

The course is specifically for law enforcement and ems/fire. It consists of classroom training and field drills. This course is physically demanding. You must be able to run, bend, lift and carry. Please consider your physical ability to participate in several days of activity.

This free, three-day training will be held on Wednesday through Friday, January 8 – 10, 2020 at Amherst College, Amherst, MA. Anticipated time is 8am to 5pm.

There are approximately 11 seats available for law enforcement and 8 for ems/fire. Registration will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. You must be able to attend all three days. Registration is required.

Food (continental breakfast & lunch) will be provided.

We hope you can join us for this unique and valuable training experience.

Actors are also needed on day 3 of the training, Friday, January 10th. If you (or someone you know) are interested in the training, but can’t attend all three days, being an actor will provide you with an interesting perspective of the training. Actors can be from any first responder discipline. To register as an actor or for more information, please click here. Civilians over the age of 18 are also allowed to be actors.

To learn more about this training view this video & photo story of WRHSAC’s previous offering of this training.

Registration is required for the training.

The class is full. Thank you for your interest.

UMass Amherst Campus, Amherst MA

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Enhancing Response, Protecting Dignity: Disability Tips and Tools for First Responders Conference

First responders sometimes face unpredictable challenges when assisting people with disabilities. Awareness, education, and training are needed to prepare responders to meet these challenges. There are currently no national standards in place for mandated training; different states and different jurisdictions have widely varying requirements. Unfortunately, many jurisdictions that do insist on in-depth training for first responders today do so because something went terribly wrong in the past.

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) has been working with planners, first responders, and direct care providers over the last year to learn about issues and gaps related to responding to people with disabilities, those who suffer from addiction, and those who have other additional assistance needs. Research, surveys, and interviews were conducted to assess the status of available training and resources for first responders, and to develop a comprehensive picture of what additional resources are needed to support first responders in the optimal care of people with disabilities.

This unique conference is the culmination of this work and will provide first responders with tools and training to enhance their work with people with disabilities.  Registration is required. 

The conference will be held on at UMass Amherst on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. It is free and food will be provided.

The morning plenary sessions are designed to raise awareness and provide new insights. 

David Whalen, founder of First Responders Disability Awareness Training – the premier training program for first responders to best serve and respond to people with disabilities, is the conference keynote speaker. David has worked in the disability field his entire career. He is passionate about ensuring first responders have the best training available to provide services to people with a disability that enhance response and protect the dignity of the individual.

WRHSAC will also introduce the Tips for First Responders web-based tool. The Tips Tool is an accessible, quick, rich in content tool enabling first responders to readily find information and tips to enhance response. Topics covered include mobility impairment, cognitive disabilities, deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, mental illness, autism and more. The tool is accessible via smartphones, computers or download.

The Pittsfield Police Department and the Brien Center of Berkshire County will be present to speak about the Embedded Mental Health Counselor program. This exciting approach pairs law enforcement and a mental health professional in the field to more immediately and effectively address the needs of persons experiencing mental health or emotional crisis.

In the afternoon, a condensed version of the First Responder Disability Awareness Training will be provided. This training is delivered in breakout sessions specific to disciplines. The training both sensitizes and educates first responders with the intent to effectively identify, address and respond to various disabilities they will encounter in their line of duty.

An afternoon breakout session will be held for each of the following disciplines: Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS, Dispatchers, and EMDs.

Course description:

  • Law Enforcement – The ability to respond to individuals with disabilities has posed varying challenges to officers across the country and high-profile cases have exposed the need for more involved awareness and education. As the population increases and more individuals are active in the community, the need to ensure accurate and appropriate response is critical. The Recognition-Identification-Approach-Interaction-Response Model will be introduced and exemplified in select disabilities.
  • Firefighter/EMS – While recognizing each discipline has unique roles in emergency response, the combined program will address outreach, fire safety planning, disabilities defined specific to fire, rescue, and medical needs. Communication barriers, means of egress, and other challenges will be discussed in line with the Recognition-Identification-Approach-Interaction-Response Model.
  • 9-1-1 Telecommunicators/Dispatcher – Being the first to respond, the telecommunicator can initiate a positive response if educated in disability awareness and provided the proper tools and resources. The presentation will introduce the three components within this content; understanding and response to speech disabilities, awareness of how disabilities present, and interface with first responders to address a positive outcome. The Americans with Disabilities Act, general effective communication and relay services will also be presented.
  • Emergency Management Director – Including people with disabilities and access and functional needs in emergency preparedness. Considerations include ADA compliance, breakdown of lawsuits to NYC, LA, and Oakland, accessibility/universal design, FEMA identified model, national advocacy organizations, and inclusive planning and active participation.

The conference is free and food will be provided.

5 Hours of OEMS credit is approved for this training.

Registration has closed for this event.

Please direct any questions to Raine Brown (raine@frcog.org) or Rachel Mason (rmason@frcog.org).

Chicopee Public Safety Complex, 110 Church Street, Chicopee, MA

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

When disaster strikes, it can be a challenge to effectively mobilize, organize, and deploy resources needed to perform wide-area searches. This course is an excellent training opportunity for any jurisdiction or agency that may face such an emergency. The course content applies to a vast number of critical situations, including natural disasters or terrorist incidents.

Participants will learn practical search methods and skills to perform systematic searches over a large affected area. The training will include challenging exercises that mirror real-life scenarios. The three-day long event will conclude with an in-depth exercise that requires participants to utilize the skills gained during the course by working through an incident from start to finish in a single operational period.

The training is taught by experienced instructors from TEEX Extension Services who have actively utilized wide-area search techniques during some of the nation’s largest and most challenging operations, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Gustav, and Rita; the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery operation; and many other incidents that required the same comprehensive strategies.

The training is free and food will be provided.

Registration for this course is closed. Any questions can be directed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.