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Disaster Preparedness Center Sets 'Farmedic' Training for First Responders


JONESBORO – Agriculture, big business in Arkansas, is also one of the most dangerous industries because of the array of equipment, chemicals and outdoor conditions.

First responders in the Northeast Arkansas area will enhance their skills with assisting farm accident victims during a two-day training session, Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24.

The Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education at Arkansas State University, in partnership with McNeil and Company and Black River Technical College, will present the course at BRTC's training site in Walnut Ridge.  The course is being funded by Agricultural Safety Healthy America; there is no cost to participants.

"Farmedic is designed for first responders who may potentially be challenged with responding to an agriculture-related emergency," according to Dr. Brent Cox, assistant professor of disaster preparedness and emergency management program.  "This course is a 12-hour hands-on and lecture-based certification class, and continuing education units (CEUs) are available."

The Farmedic opportunity follows quickly behind a June 27 decision by the Walnut Ridge Airport Commission to proceed with negotiations for a lease on 80 acres on airport property, following a meeting with university representatives. The airport facility is one facet of the proposed disaster training facility, which also will include a training zone at Imboden.

The Farmedic program's goals include providing rural fire and rescue responders with a systematic approach to rescues that expedites first aid and extrication, if needed, and reduces risk of additional injury to both patients and the rescue personnel.

Officer-level staff also will learn how to manage an incident using the fundamentals of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

The training sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 23, and 8 a.m. to noon on July 24.  The BRTC training site is at 114 Wilson Dr. near the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.

Interested individuals may register by contacting the Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at A-State, dpem@AState.edu or (870) 680-8286.

The Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education is an official regional training center recognized by the American Medical Association and National Disaster Life Support Foundation.

The Center was created in 2005 in response to an unmet need for disaster education within the health professions. It offers courses in basic and advanced disaster life support, homeland security, and emergency management.

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