County offers first emergency preparedness classes to public

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Locals had the chance to learn life-saving tips at an emergency preparedness class in Montgomery County.

“Become that warrior, everyone has it inside of them,” said Sergeant Brian Tupa, Montgomery County Police.

“We started wondering, thinking, and brainstorming whether the class that we give to employees in Montgomery County would be of interest or need to community members in Montgomery County,” said John Burke, Emergency Management Specialist

The Office of Emergency Management kicked off a pilot program this week, offering free classes on preparing for emergencies.

“It’s our understanding that this is probably one of the first programs in the country that does this,” Mitch Dinowitz, Emergency Management Specialist.

Fires, medical emergencies, bomb threats, severe weather, and active assailants are topics attendees learn how to respond to.

Emergency Management says most reactions are common sense, but for certain situations advice is changing, so it’s important to get the updated information out.

“A perfect example is the active shooter, active assailant event,” said Burke.  “In Columbine, the police used to just surround and wait for SWAT to get there. There were a lot of deaths that probably occurred from bleeding and that sort of thing that could’ve been avoided if they used the tactics they do now.”

People are instructed to avoid the attacker, deny access to the attacker, and defend him or herself.

“I think right now it’s important to educate the public to keep themselves safe,” said Dinowitz.

Be proactive in your preparation.

“We actually got a lot of good questions today about expanding this to different portions in the community,” said Dinowitz.

Dinowitz says they will look into expanding the training to schools and retail stores.

Saturday was the last class in the pilot program.

After what they call a “successful week of classes,” Emergency Management will discuss how the program will develop.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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