Emergency Disaster Training in Swift Current

by jmifsud
Categories: Uncategorized

    By John R. Statton
    Swift Current Prairiepost

    Swift Current, SK February 23, 2011 — Good Samaritans are gearing up to train southwest residents in disaster assistance. The Salvation Army will host the Emergency Disaster Response session April 16. Experts will attend to pass on their knowledge in a variety of disaster situations.

     “Internally we’ve always put on emergency disaster workshops to keep our officers and regular volunteers trained across the country,” said Cpt. Michael Ramsay, commanding officer of the Swift Current Salvation Army.

    “This is the first one that we’ve had the opportunity to open it up to the public in general, so that anyone can get the same level of training that some of our officers do in emergency disaster services.”

    The program is tailored towards adults and certifies the public in Emotional and Spiritual Care, and Disaster Food Services.

    The latter is aimed towards a broader scope of participants, and the training incorporates handling and delivery of food for safety and effectiveness.

    “Anyone can be a part of that if they are properly trained, and it’s always good for each community to have many people trained it that area,” said Ramsay.

    The Salvation Army will have a mobile kitchen set up for the event.

    The kitchens are used during large crises, such as when Ramsay was helping after Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas in 2008.

    “You had 50 or 60 of these mobile canteens, and whole teams of people preparing and distributing meals from them so efficiently,” he said.

    Ramsay’s specialized in the Emotional and Spiritual care, and debriefed some of the first responders attending to the aftermath.

    “As they met up with families who had lost loved ones, or as they had come into contact with some of the terrible scenes that one does encounter in those situation,” he said.

    “One of the valuable things of having people in the local community trained in that aspect is that when you are providing some of the practical assistance, you are going to be in contact with people who that are experiencing a sense of loss.”

    It could be the loss of a pet, a home, or even a loved one. The training would be an asset to the southwest community, given the possibility of flooding in 2011.

    The Salvation Army had been in Maple Creek, Yorkton, and North Battleford during last year’s floods, even before a state of emergency was declared.

    The Swift Current Salvation Army was able to send a full team to help in the area.

    “The more people that we can have trained, the more we can offer assistance to those in need when these disasters hit,” said Ramsay.

    Participants are encouraged to put the skills learned to work after the event.

    “If people are interested in doing any national or international work they will have obtained the certification,” he said.

    The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA) bases the possibility of flooding on four factors.

    The risk factors for spring runoff include fall moisture conditions, snowfall to date, future snowfall, and the possibility of a quick-melt.

    “Right now, considering the fall moisture conditions and the snow pack, we’re probably in an above normal potential for spring runoff,” said Curtis Molde, of the SWA.

    “We will have a better forecast starting Mar. 1, but right now we show that above normal condition.”