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OES Notepad

Training is an on-going process with First Responders.  It is the way we become more skilled at our work–fire fighting, caring for the sick and injured, spotting storms, finding lost persons, etc.

In January:

Sat 12 at 8:00 AM ADEM Hazmat Awareness at Ratcliff FD, 105 Wilson Street.  POC is Tobi Miller at 479-747-6648.

Thu 17 at 7:00 PM Medical First Responder Organization Class at Altus City FD.  POC is David Doss at 479-209-1789.

Sat 19 and Sun 20 at 8:00 AM each morning ADEM Hazmat Operations at Ratcliff FD, 105 Wilson Street.  POC is Tobi Miller at 479-747-6648.

Sat 26 at 8:00 AM Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior at Ark Tech in Ozark.  POC is Fred Mullen at 479-209-0818.

(NOTE: This is NOT the Arkansas Forestry Commission Class–this class goes into more detail about weather’s, terrain’s and fuel’s impact on fire behavior.)

Mon 28 at 6:30 PM Tulsa NWS Storm Spotter Class at Ark Tech in Ozark.  POC is Rick Covert at 479-209-0680.

Don’t forget your online training resources:

Texas Extension Service (TEEX)–many free Responder classes at www.teex.org

Comet Courses–many free responder and weather classes at www.meted.ucar.edu

FEMA–www.fema.gov (currently un-supported due to Fed Gov shut-down)

US Fire Academy–www.usfa.fema.gov (currently un-supported due to Fed Gov shut down)

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Fire Board Host Awards Ceremony

By: Fred Mullen

On Saturday evening, the  Franklin County Fire Advisory Board hosted a Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony for all Franklin County responder agencies.  The event was attended by about 150 responders and family members.  A traditional Christmas Dinner was served.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Approximately 150 Responders and family members attended the event hosted by the Franklin County Fire Services Advisory Board. All responder agencies and disciplines in the County were invited. Departments with attendees included: Altus FD; Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Barnes FD; Cecil FD; FC EMS; FC OEM; South Ozark/Webb City FD; Pleasant View FD, and, Christian Aid Ministries SAR from Johnson County. (Photo by Melissa Francis)

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Approximately 150 Responders and family members attended the event hosted by the Franklin County Fire Services Advisory Board. All responder agencies and disciplines in the County were invited. Departments with attendees included: Altus FD; Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Barnes FD; Cecil FD; FC EMS; FC OEM; South Ozark/Webb City FD; Pleasant View FD, and, Christian Aid Ministries SAR from Johnson County. (Photo by Melissa Francis)

According to Barnes Fire Fighter Sandra McClellen,  Event Committee Member, well over 50 door prizes were given out as well as every child 12 and under received a gift bag.  There was also a special drawing for each of the attending fire departments.  They received equipment or cash donations.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Traditional Christmas music was provided by Big-D and Friends (L to R) David Doss, Sandra McCellen, David Bowles, Sr. and David Bowles, Jr. (Photo by Melissa Francis)

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Traditional Christmas music was provided by Big-D and Friends (L to R) David Doss, Sandra McCellen, David Bowles, Sr. and David Bowles, Jr. (Photo by Melissa Francis)

Fred Mullen, OEM Coordinator, said, “Our special thanks to members of the committee: Sandra McClellan, Dan Cybik, Susan Kinsworthy and Lenona Graham.  They did an outstanding job on this event.  Board Treasury Frank Theising and OEM Sr. Deputy Coordinator Melissa also contributed greatly to the success of the evening”  The event was funded with donations.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Shown here are members of the Pleasant View Fire Department who were recognized for various achievements (L to r) Sean Mahan, Service Award; Art McElhaney, promotion to Captain; Max Miller, Service Award; Frank Theising, Training Officer; Rodney Cline, Team Mate of the Year Award; Dylan Covert, promotion to Lieutenant and Fire Fighter of the Year Award; and, Chief Ruby Robinson.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Shown here are members of the Pleasant View Fire Department who were recognized for various achievements (L to r) Sean Mahan, Service Award; Art McElhaney, promotion to Captain; Max Miller, Service Award; Frank Theising, Training Officer; Rodney Cline, Team Mate of the Year Award; Dylan Covert, promotion to Lieutenant and Fire Fighter of the Year Award; and, Chief Ruby Robinson.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Watalula Fire Fighters are recognized with Years in Service Awards, (L to R) Don and Shirley Gresham, 20 Years; Judy and Tom Jones, 20 Years; Chief Frank Thiesing; Terri Dickerson, 15 Years; Randy Dickerson, 26 Years; Billy and Barbara Schaffer, 28 Years.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Watalula Fire Fighters are recognized with Years in Service Awards, (L to R) Don and Shirley Gresham, 20 Years; Judy and Tom Jones, 20 Years; Chief Frank Thiesing; Terri Dickerson, 15 Years; Randy Dickerson, 26 Years; Billy and Barbara Schaffer, 28 Years.

David Sutter presents Maxwell Miller with the SAR Volunteer of the Year Award

David Sutter presents Maxwell Miller with the SAR Volunteer of the Year Award

Judge Rickey Bowman was the key note speaker.  Music was provided by David Bowles and Friends .  There will be pictures of the award winners in this week’s and next week’s  paper .  Also, please find an advertisement in the paper with a list of the sponsors who made the evening possible.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Judge Rickey Bowman was the Keynote Speaker for the event. He spoke of his appreciation of our responders and illustrated it by sharing a heart warming story regarding his Father's illness and the response by Fire Medical Responders and EMS to assist his family. He thanked the responders and their families for all the time and effort they give to make Franklin County a safer place to live.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Judge Rickey Bowman was the Keynote Speaker for the event. He spoke of his appreciation of our responders and illustrated it by sharing a heart warming story regarding his Father’s illness and the response by Fire Medical Responders and EMS to assist his family. He thanked the responders and their families for all the time and effort they give to make Franklin County a safer place to live.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--Fred Mullen, OEM/FS Coordinator presents David Bowles,Jr, Chief of Barnes Fire Department, with Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his service as President of the Board.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–Fred Mullen, OEM/FS Coordinator presents David Bowles,Jr, Chief of Barnes Fire Department, with Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his service as President of the Board.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony--FC SAR Team Leader David Sutter presents Vernon Hofstedler, Team Leader of 'Christian Aid Minsteries SAR Team 10' with a Certificate of Recognition as 2018 Mutual Aid Partner of the Year. Team 10 is affiliated with the Amish/Mennonite Church located near Hunt in Johnson County. Some past recipients of this award have included: Ozark FD; Mulberry FD; St. Paul FD, and, the Crawford County SAR Team.

FCFSAB Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony–FC SAR Team Leader David Sutter presents Vernon Hofstedler, Team Leader of ‘Christian Aid Minsteries SAR Team 10’ with a Certificate of Recognition as 2018 Mutual Aid Partner of the Year. Team 10 is affiliated with the Amish/Mennonite Church located near Hunt in Johnson County. Some past recipients of this award have included: Ozark FD; Mulberry FD; St. Paul FD, and, the Crawford County SAR Team.

The Fire Board would like to thank the following for contributions to our Dinner and Awards Ceremony.  Plese give them a thank you when you see them or visit there place of business.

*Bill’s Wrecker      *Black Hills     * Branch FD      * Buzy Bee       *Byrd’s Adventure Center        *Coffee Break   *Dan Cybik       *Dave Sutter     *David Bowles Sr.

* Del Sol  Mexican Restaurant     *Down South Trends      *El Puerto Mexican Restaurant      *EVS Fire Supply    * FC EMS     * Foy Eddings    * Fred Mullen     * Frank Theising

*Ken’s Towing       *Main Street BarBQ     *Mediquik Pharmacy      *NAPA           * PVFD      *Post Winery  *Roma Italian Restaurant   * Sandra McClellan   *SO/WC FD  Southern Grill      *Turner’s Bend    *Village Pharmacy    *Watalula FD Aux    *Work Safe

The dinner was catered by the Roasting Redhead

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OES Notepad

By Fred Mullen

WILDLAND FIRE STUFF

     Last year, Melissa and I presented via webinar a paper to the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program about combining forecast and observations from various state and national organizations with our local observations to help develop a wildland fire mitigation program for Franklin County.  The material was very well received and we have since improved it some more.  We are proud to say that we have been invited to present a portion of the materials to the Fifth Annual National Weather Service Integrated Warning Team Workshop in Conway on January 15.
     The program is designed to provide local responders and dispatchers with a comprehensive look at day to day wildfire conditions during times of escalating fire danger and high fire danger days.  We put the materials out on our web-page, text message and email responders, and, make announcements on the Fire Radio Channels.  We also use it as a basis for news releases to local media.
       Weather, fuel conditions, fire locations, department staffing and equipment availability  all go into the mix.  We use the material to make decisions about when to call for mutual aid, how to attack the fire the best way to protect values (homes, barns, farm equipment, width and nature of control lines, etc)  We are deeply grateful to all who have contributed to the project including our local Firefighters, Dispatchers, and, Forestry professionals.
SAR STUFF
The search and rescue team meets on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month.  Part of our regular meeting is to recap the previous months missions.  Between the October and November meeting, we answered seven calls for service.
   They ranged from just about 20 minutes where Team Leader Dave Sutter assisted a family by phone. The family was looking for an overdue hunter.  Dave was able to describe to them road system were the person went missing.  Dave was assisted by OEM Senior Deputy Coordinator Melissa Francis who provided the parties with electronic maps of the area.  The family was quickly able to locate their loved one.  Another overdue hunter was located by an investigative search led by  the Sheriff’s Department Deputy Travis Ball  who was assisted by the SAR team. This search  took about 2 hours to complete.
    The longest search we have had in Franklin County since we started our team in 2002 was in August of 2012.  A lady from Missouri traveled through Kansas and Oklahoma ending up in the Ozark National Forest near White Rock Mountain.  The search lasted 39 hours.  She was found alive.
     A special thank you to team members Dave, Max, Todd, Leon, Frank who spent a cold and wet Sunday afternoon in the field updating our pre-plan for Devil’s Canyon.
TRAINING/MEETING STUFF
*Thursday December 6 at 1800 hrs AFA Communications--call Frank at 573-821-5570 for more information.
*Monday January 7 at 1730 hrs AFC FireWise Meeting–call Frank at 573-821-5570 for more information.
*Saturday January 26 at 0800 hrs NWCG  S-190 Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior–call Fred at 479-209-0818 for more information.
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OES Notepad

By Fred Mullen

The past couple of weeks we have been busy with some of the unpleasant stuff for responders–vehicle accidents.  When it rains,  it tends to create the perfect environment for wrecks. As you travel  for work or  pleasure, please  remember to take extra care when it is raining.

Sunday morning our Dispatch Center received a call from a woman who was receiving text messages from her husband’s friend saying that they had a off road vehicle accident on  the Mill Creek Trail System.  Pettigrew Fire Department (Madison County), Barnes Fire Department, Franklin County EMS and SAR responded to the scene.  The injured man was assisted to the trail head and taken by family vehicle to a hospital with minor injuries.

Citizens should always beware, severe weather can strike in Franklin County at any time.  You and your family need multiple ways to stay aware of the situation and receive emergency warnings.  Here are some things you can do to help your family and place of work to be Weather Wise: 1) Listen to the daily weather forecast on commercial radio or TV. 2) Purchase and use a NOAA tone activated weather radio 3) Sign up for a weather warning app on your smart phone.  Franklin County residents can use CodeRed for free.  For more information check  our web site at www.fcoem.org

Franklin County Responders attend AFC Open House

Shown here are a few of the Franklin County Responders who attended the Arkansas Forestry Commission Open House at Greenbrier this past Saturday. From L to R, Joe Fox, Ark Forestry Commission Director; Fred Mullen, OEM Coordinator; Chief Eugene Wilson, Branch Fire Department; Chief Ruby Robinson, PV Fire Department; Mayor Gerald Harris, City of Branch; Dylan Covert, FC Emergency Responder; Chief Frank Theising, Watalula Fire Department; and, Bill James, Arkansas Forestry Commission Instructor.

Several Franklin County Fire Fighters attended the Arkansas Forestry Commission open house on Saturday in Greenbrier.  There were over 30 vendor and education booths.  We learned some stuff that will help us make Franklin County a safer place to live, work and visit. See related photo in this edition.

Had a great time at the Barnes Fire Department Chile Supper.  Those folks put on a great meal with outstanding music and fellowship.  Remember, Saturday night is Bingo Night at Cecil Fire Department–it’s super fun!

RESPONDER TRAINING–Mon Nov 5 at 1800 hrs AFA Scene Lightning Class at Watalula Fire Department.  Thu Dec 6 at 1800 hrs AFA Communications Class at Watalula Fire Department. Mon Jan 7, 2019 at 1730 hrs AFC Firewise Orientation Meeting at Watalula Fire Department.  For more info on these two classes and 1 meeting call Frank at 573-821-5570.  Sat Jan 26 at 0800 hrs NWCG S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior at Arkansas Tech campus (8 hours Act 833 Credit). For more info on this class call Fred at 479-209-0818.

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FRANKLIN/LOGAN COUNTIES ARES NET EXERCISE

By: Rick Covert

On the evening of Monday October 22nd, the Franklin County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) team, participated in a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) exercise along with fellow team members from Logan County.

The scenario for this years SET, was a simulated Skywarn storm spotter net. This is something that both teams a very familiar with, but it was the goal of both to encourage new amateur radio operators to become more familiar with reporting criteria and procedures throughout the exercise.

Typically during one of our Franklin & Logan County Skywarn nets, we have several spotters that also have a dual role of ARES volunteers participating. During the past few months, several new hams, along with operators new to the area, have expressed an interest in learning about how participate, and what to report, and in an accurate manner that would be of benefit to our served counties.

Using information adapted from actual National Weather Service warnings, along with archived Doppler radar images from a recent severe storm event that produced wind damage in the region, the exercise was conducted in real time. This gave those newly interested a good sense of what goes on during a large scale severe weather event, but also the importance of relaying as close as possible accurate information for locations of damage such as downed utility lines, and hazards such as roads blocked by debris.

Very often during a severe weather event, emergency managers from both counties are either part of the Skywarn storm spotter base, or are working close by in our respective Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). This gives them the ability to quickly share with 911 centers, where law enforcement, fire departments, or emergency medical services may need to be sent, along with alerting road departments and other utilities.

Participating in the SET exercise for Logan County were, Dennis Bedene N5XMZ, Paul Mathieson WA8OXU, Jim Kiefer KD5NDJ, and Randy Zimmer KG5HQI. For Franklin County, Fredrick Hunt KK5AA, and Rick Covert KD5GSP.

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Barnes Rural Fire Department Newsletter

Barnes Rural Fire Department has issued Volume 1 Issue 1 of their new Newsletter!

Check it out below:

Click to download PDF

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Tornado Impact

October 9, 2018 Tornado Damage

Cattlemen repair fence from tornado damage near Franklin/Johnson County Line in Philpot Valley Picture taken by Melissa Francis

At 3:37 PM Tuesday October 9, Franklin and Johnson Counties were issued a Tornado Warning for a storm cell that entered moved over the Denning, Altus and Wiederkehr Village area.  A small tornado did develop which produced some light damage to one home in the area of Honeysuckle Road and Philpot Road.

October 09, 2018 Tornado Damage

Storm Damaged Tree on Hwy 352 just inside Johnson County Picture taken by Melissa Francis

Additional damage was located on farm land to the east in Johnson County.  There were several large trees knocked down or stripped of their limbs and foliage. Officials reported no injuries.

October 9, 2018 Tornado Damage

Watalula Fire Chief Frank Theising points out line of Tuesday’s tornado damage that crossed Philpot Road just over the Franklin/Johnson County line in Johnson County

The storm cell continued to track north and produced a Tornado Warning in Madison and Newton Counties.  The National Weather Service no reports of damage in these Counties.

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Storm Spotters Information Generates Tornado Warning in Franklin County

In the past few years, most tornado warnings have been issued due to the National Weather Service detecting low to mid-level  rotation on their much improved Doppler radar systems.  However, occasionally, a warning is generated by a ground truth report from a storm spotter in the field.  This past Tuesday’s event in Franklin and Johnson was just one of these rare times.

Initial ground reports came from area storm spotter and ham radio operator Mark Graves, K5OO.  Graves was north bound on Hwy 309 between Grayrock and  Roseville when he checked into  the Franklin/Logan County Skywarn Net which was being controlled by OEM Volunteer/ARES-EC Rick Covert, KD5GSP  at the Franklin County Courthouse in Ozark.   Graves report was used by Covert to confirm the radar return image he was monitoring.  Covert was in already in contact via Chat-room with the Tulsa Office of the National Weather Service.  The NWS had already advised Covert that storm  was taking on small supercell characteristics.  Upon receiving this information at the EOC, Covert informed the local Skywarn Net and responders to observe this cell closely.  Immediately after sharing this information, Graves reported observing a rapidly rotating wall cloud with the lowering of a funnel.  Concurrently, Covert relayed the ground truth reports and alerted the Dispatch to activate the Altus Tornado Sirens.  The Weather Service issued the warning primarily based on the work generated by Graves and Covert.

As this information was being processed by Covert, OEM Coordinator Fred Mullen, KD5MXV  was receiving by phone ground truth reports from the Denning area from County Judge Rickey Bowman.  Bowman was attending a meeting at the Denning City Hall when he observed rotation in the clouds above the area with movement  to the north.  At this time, other storm spotters (including OEM personnel Mullen and Melissa Francis, KD5MXW on I-40, and, long time ham radio operator/storm spotter Joe Finely, KA5IFX on Hwy 186  were tracking the storm north-north east.  Findley’s reports helped Covert to fine-tune the placement of other spotters to provide the best information to inform responders and the public about potentially impacted areas.  At St. Mary’s Mountain, law enforcement officers and fire fighters monitored the developing storm and filed reports to Mullen and the Dispatch Center.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Severe Weather

Responders Fred Mullen and Melissa Francis, Franklin County OEM, Randy Boren, FC EMS Director, Greg Tillery with FC Sheriff’s Department, Ozark PD, Kyle Eveld, Altus School Resource Officer, Leon Hall with Altus FD, Jason Parsons with Altus PD observe incoming storms

While this action was being taken in Franklin County, Johnson County OEM Coordinator Josh Johnson, KE5MHV was monitoring the Franklin/Logan County Net and NWS Chatroom.   He used that information to develop a warning for their county.

According to OEM Deputy Coordinator Covert, who has 19 years severe weather and emergency communications to Franklin County, “fortunately this tornado touched down in a rural area with mostly fields and trees.  However, it is important to remember that due to the efforts of local responders and stormspotters the Warning Notification was generated several  minutes earlier that it would have been.  Also, we had several resources following it ready to report the location and degree of damage or injuries had they occurred.  Law enforcement officers and fire fighters in the area were well positioned to immediately respond to assist the public.”

Mullen added, “this was an excellent  example of multi-agency, multi-disciple cooperation to detect, provide notification,  monitor and prepare a response to a potentially dangerous situation.”

Franklin County citizens are reminded they can apply for free weather warnings  on their phone at www.fcoem.org/code-red.  For more information on this program, contact Franklin County OEM SDC Melissa Francis at 479-667-0070.

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2018 Exercise at Ozark Lock & Dam

Written by Fred Mullen

This past Saturday, the Ozark Lock and Dam was the scene of an emergency exercise to practice local responders’ ability to perform technical rescues.  The scenario was a worker (rescue manikin was used) who had slipped and fallen in a ladder well on the lock.  He suffered a broken leg, concussion and other injuries.

2018 Exercise General Briefing

Responders receive a General Briefing and Safety Briefing prior to the begging of the exercise. Topics covered included the objectives of the exercise and the hazards associated with working at this scene. Special consideration was given to the monitoring of the heat index as the morning progressed. Photo by Melissa Francis

First on the scene, Fire Department personnel performed a scene size up and medical evaluation of the patient.  They called for assistance from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, EMS, and, SAR Team.  Working together these entries successfully rescued the patient.

2018 Ozark Lock & Dam Exercise

Emergency Exercise–Rescue Group members observe as responder Sean Mahan rigs patient for extraction with AGF officers Ben Sisk and Billy Williams assisting from their boat. Photo by Melissa Francis

“We treated the event as what is known as a Functional Exercise.  This means all the necessary skills are performed, but we take the time for explaining our actions and instructing un-skilled responders along the way so they can be better prepared,” said OEM Coordinator Fred Mullen. He added, “today is part of a multiple  event exercise which began with a table-top exercise last year which included a flash flood that  impacted the Arkansas River and required a rescue response.”

2018 Ozark Lock & Dam Exercise

Firefighters and SAR Team members work together to set a rope rigging for the rescue of an injured and trapped worker at the Ozark Lock and Dam. L to R, Max Miller, Brian Moffit, Leon Hall, Nat Williams, Jeffery Rose, Sr., and, Tom Jones. Jones was the Incident Safety Officer for the Exercise. Photos by Melissa Francis

2018 Ozark Lock & Dam Exercise

Rescue Technician David Sutter and EMT Josh Ciampoli lead Responders on a discussion of preliminary patient care and packaging for transfer to the hospital via Air Evac. Photo by Melissa Francis

An after action review (AAR) was held following the event.  According to Melissa Francis, OEM Senior Deputy Coordinator, “the purpose of the AAR is to determine what we did well and what we need to work on.  We will take the information gathered from it and create a corrective action plan which will possibly include items needed, such as, additional training; improve the pre-plan; revise procedure;  additional equipment or supplies needed, etc. Though today went well, we always want to improve and be better prepared for the hazards that face our citizens.”

2018 Ozark Lock & Dam AAR

Fred Mullen, FC OEM Coordinator, leads the responders in an After Action Review of the exercise. Photo by Melissa Francis

The exercise was observed by Tim Gehring,  Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Area Coordinator.  Gehring said, “this was a very successful functional exercise—great cooperation among all the stakeholders.”

Kevin Dunn, Corps of Engineers Lock Master, said, “I am very pleased with the effort and performance of our local responders.  This group worked extremely well together to assess the situation, pose solutions, and, follow up with effective actions.”

Over 30 personnel participated from the agencies following: Air Evac 22;  Altus Fire Department; Arkansas Department of Emergency Management; Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; Corps of Engineers; Cecil Fire Department; FC EMS; FC OEM; South Ozark Fire Department; and, Watalula Fire Department.

Mullen added, “I want to thank everyone who gave up a Saturday to train and be better prepared for emergency situations.  The skills we worked on today are transferable to a variety of faculties throughout our county.  Special thanks to Lt. Ben Sisk, Wildlife Officer First Class Billy Williams, and, Air Evac Base Manager Chris White.  Air Evac provided  lunch for the participants.

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Training Added: Auto Extrication

We’ve added information to the Training Page–Auto Extrication June 2-3, 2018. For more information, please visit the Training Page.

Other Training currently listed: Responder Workshop (June 9), ICS 300 (July 14-15) and ICS 400 (July 28-29)

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