Members of The FIRST 24 and the Kingston Springs Fire Department trained together last Thursday night at L.L. Burns Park. The “Road Team” of the First 24 volunteers completed their training by learning how to direct traffic and put up road blocks during a disaster. This was the last scheduled training for the 5 different specialized teams making up The First 24. There are future plans to hold a MOCK disaster as additional training.
This group was developed to teach citizens how to become useful volunteers during the initial onset of a disaster without requiring that they receive “instant trainng” during the chaos of a disaster event. These volunteers will be equipped with appropriate equipment and safety items and then assigned to tasks in the designated disaster area. Disasters could range from floods, wind events, ice storms, large fires, train derailments, etc. The FIRST 24 teams will respond during the first 24 hours of a disaster until things can be brought under initial control. They will help with traffic, clearing roads, transporting people and equipment, delivering food and beverages to emergency workers and victims, relocation services, animal rescue, etc. This training gives these volunteers a level of security clearance that will allow them to participate directly with other emergency workers “behind the lines”.
Training began last May with 32 participants, 25 have actually completed the training.
Those completing the training courses are: Jeff Anthony, April and Tom Dulin, Kathleen Hanley, John Hatcher, Traci and Jeremy Jacobs, Robert and Edie Jenner, Jack and Betty Ann Lay, Dave Parks, Glenn Remick, Bill and Linda Ryder, Keith Seagraves, Dru and Lynn Scarbrough, Rick and Marie Spafford, Jeff Stevens, Tim Stutzman, Lisa Vetitoe, Art Ward, and David Zauner.
Also, as part of the development of this preparedness plan, utility companies were approached and brought into the planning process. Plans were made to coordinate repair crews, firefighters and volunteers during a disaster event. This will not only expedite restoration of utilities, but will also help with traffic management and the removal of hurdles during the disaster.
“All in all, we are very pleased with the outcome of the project”, says Chief Eugene Ivey. “It would be nice to think that we will never have to use this plan, but that would be too optimistic. We have experienced three weather related disaster events just in the past three years, so we feel that we could easily have it happen again. This will only help to improve our response.”
Training was provided by members of the fire department, coordinated by Chief Ivey and Captain Jeremy Vaughan.