Weather Alert:

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

No August Meetings

WRHSAC and its subcommittees are taking the month of August off. There are no meetings.

The regular meeting schedule will resume in September. Pan Flu Planning subcommittee will meet on Tuesday, September 7. WRHSAC, Training & Exercise Subcommittee and WMRIC will meet on Tuesday, September 21. Watch the calendar for meeting agendas and information. All meetings will be virtual.

Easthampton Fire Department, 32 Payson Ave, Easthampton

September and October 2021 Sessions

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is funding Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Training at Easthampton Fire Department. Two sessions of this two-day training will be held. The first on Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19, 2021. The second on Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24th. 

The training is free. Lunch will be provided. OEMS credits are pending. Registration is required.

PHTLS is the premier pre-hospital trauma education developed in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons to promote critical thinking in addressing multi-system trauma and provide the latest evidence-based treatment practices. The program will strengthen the EMS providers’ assessment skills and techniques for managing patients in distress. The program is based on a pre-hospital trauma care philosophy, stressing the treatment of the multi-system trauma patient as a unique entity with specific needs and has shown to improve the quality of trauma care in all patients and also decrease mortality.

Two-Day Training: The training is a two-day, sixteen-hour program including working lunches. PHTLS is appropriate for EMTs, paramedics, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, and other prehospital providers.  The training will be held at Easthampton Fire Department, 32 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA,

Both sessions of the training are full. Please complete the form to be added to the waitlist. You will be notified if any openings become available.

Class size is limited, so register quickly.

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.

 

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

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, October 7, 2021 – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, October 14, 2021  – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, October 21, 2021 – 10:00am to noon
  • Thursday, October 28, 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 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.

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.

 

 

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.