WINDER - Barrow County officials recently conducted a three-day training class on dealing with large disasters.
"This training will be valuable as we continue our efforts to be better prepared to handle any disaster that may affect our community and our citizens, commented Barrow County Emergency Services Chief Dennis Merrifield.
Numerous local agencies came together at the headquarters of Barrow County Emergency Services to participate in the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) training on Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operations and planning for all hazards. The class was hosted by Barrow County Emergency Services and brought together numerous key people that would assist in the management of a disaster in Barrow County. It also hosted agencies from outside the county, including representatives of Hall County Public Health and the Northeast Georgia Health District.
The class was conducted by the Texas Engineering Extension Service National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC) a member of the Texas A&M University System. The course provided tailored, specialized training to respond to and recover from terrorism, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents and other hazards.
"Barrow County Emergency Services was excited to be able to offer this training locally" said Penny Clack Coordinator of the Emergency Management Agency for Barrow County Emergency Services. The class is offered and funded through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Chief Merrifield and Clack attended the training along with approximately 30 other students. The agencies that were represented in the training included Barrow County Emergency Services, Barrow County CERT, Barrow County Board of Education, Barrow Regional Medical Center, American Red Cross, Statham Police Department, Oconee County Fire & EMA, Jackson County Public Safety, Winder Police Department, Auburn Police Department, Winder Fire Department, Northeast Health District, Banks County Public Health, Forsyth County Public Health, Hall County Public Health and Gwinnett-Newton-Rockdale Public Health.
"I was pleased at the participation from the various public safety organizations in our community as well as surrounding counties", said Penny Clack. "We now have a much better skill set and idea of how to address and
support any disaster that may affect our community".