Weather Alert:

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

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).

MEMA, Region 3/4, 1002 Suffield Street, Agawam, MA

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

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. The training is free and food will be provided.

Two separate sessions of Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held. The first session will be held on Monday & Tuesday, September 9 & 10, 2019 at MEMA, Agawam. The second session will be held in Southampton, MA on yet to be determined days (likely October).

One session of After the Storm will be held on a yet to be determined date.

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

This training is full. 

Complete the form below if you’d like to be placed on the waitlist. Thank you for your interest!

Oops! We could not locate your form.

The Red Barn at Hampshire College

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) presents Inner Resilience for First Responders: Mindfulness and Wellbeing for the Front Lines Training.

First responders are exposed to critical incidents and chronic stressors that contribute to a higher prevalence of negative health outcomes compared to other occupations.

Psychological resilience, a learnable process of positive adaptation to stress, has been identified as a protective factor against the negative impact of burnout. This experiential training will provide first responders with practices and understanding to help foster their own personal resilience to reduce the negative effects of chronic stress and trauma. This resilience can reduce burnout and improve health including a stronger immune system, improved cardiovascular health, improved sleep and increased attention and focus.

Mindfulness builds resiliency, strengthens awareness and cultivates compassion. First Responders benefit from these attributes on the job and in their personal lives. This experiential workshop will provide first responders with concrete mindfulness practices and proven evidence of the benefits.

The efficacy of meditation and other mindfulness practice have been studied extensively over the last decade and more. Studies show a regular mindfulness practice can:

    • increase resilience
    • increase emotional regulation
    • enhance attention & focus
    • increase alertness
    • reduce the effects of stress
    • alleviate depression & anxiety
    • improve sleep
    • enhance decision making & more

This training is developed and facilitated by Raine Brown. Raine is a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in addition to her position as Homeland Security Program Manager for WRHSAC. This unique combination of skill sets allows Raine to bring the valuable practices of mindfulness to first responders in a way that is accessible and meaningful.

This training is full. Please complete the form below to be placed on the waitlist.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

The Carriage House, Eastern States Exposition

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Have you ever considered the steps you’ll need to take to safely & efficiently re-unite children & families who may be separated by an emergency incident at your large planned event or venue?

What about the group of teenagers strolling down the midway? How will you manage their parents who rush to your venue after receiving a text from their child about being in a potentially dangerous incident at your location?

This training will prepare participants to reunite children and their caregivers following emergency incidents at large special events or venues.

This training is appropriate for Emergency Managers, Safety Directors, Law Enforcement, Municipal Officials and others involved in planning and hosting large events such as fairs, parades or festivals, or large venue managers and owners, such as colleges, universities, concert venues, casinos, theaters, etc.

Pre-registration is required (complete the form below).

The training will be held at The Carriage House at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. The training will begin promptly at 8:30 am, with on-site sign-in beginning at 8:00 am.

The I Love U Guys Foundation will facilitate the training, adapting their Standard Response Protocol developed for family reunifications following an emergency incident in schools to the large event/venue setting. The WRHSAC Family Reunification Plan Template will be incorporated into the training. Copies will be provided to participants.

The training is free and a continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided.

Thank you to all who attended this training.

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