Successful Training Day: 4/28/12

Many thanks to all of the participants who joined us on our fifth Training Day! We are particularly grateful for a new partnership with the Middlesex Community College Program on Homeland Security, which hosted the event. We truly appreciate the contributions from our local sponsors, who helped to make this event financially viable as well as fun!

Members from our unit, plus guests from other MRCs, converged on the Bedford campus of MCC for a day of learning and networking. The final program shows the new slate of topics that were offered. Enjoy these scenes from the day's activities.

Attendees welcomed Terry Downes, Executive Director of the MCC Program on Homeland Security, who hosted the day's events. Downes emphasized that his program offers a natural partnership with the local Medical Reserve Corps unit. Both entities focus on improving response capabilities during times of disaster.


Jennifer Frenette, MRC Coordinator for New England (Region I), gave the opening presentation. UMV MRC Director Sandy Collins joined Frenette during the question-and-answer segment of the morning plenary.


Lisa Kaufman explained the fundamentals of Psychological First Aid, emphasizing the crucial role of mental health support in times of emergency and how responders can provide essential services at the scene.

Jennifer Jenner discussed a range of chemicals that can be released, either by accident or through malicious intent, resulting in emergencies. Attendees learned how to protect themselves and recognize the impact of various toxins on those who may have been exposed to such hazards and require care.


Tom Lawrence, a paramedic from Rhode Island and leader of an active DMAT unit, gave a classroom presentation on 'The People You Will Care For' in disasters. He shared examples from relief efforts at Ground Zero in NYC, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf states, earthquake recovery in Haiti, and other responses.
As part of the lunch plenary, Lawrence explained how Rhode Island had set records for inoculating children during the H1N1 pandemic.


Kathleen Conley Norbut reviewed the impact of the June 1, 2011 hurricanes on the town of Monson and other communities throughout Western MA. Students interacted during several scenarios to absorb lessons learned by multiple response agencies in the continuing relief efforts.

Peter Laitinen's morning class helped students to get a better sense of issues faced by vulnerable populations. These factors can pose even greater problems for care providers at emergency shelters during a disaster. Special gloves and vision simulation glasses were among the items used in various exercises.

Lisa Crowner's session on Infections Diseases included an engaging game of MRC Jeopardy to drive home the concepts.

In Peter Laitinen's afternoon class, students applied lessons from SMART Triage in assigning tags that categorized the severity of the victims who'd experienced a mass-casualty incident.


The group enjoyed some lighter moments, including a raffle and casual buffet lunch.


Attendees purchased raffle tickets during registration and between sessions, unitil the drawing. They reviewed the MRC display with photos of volunteers in action, swapping stories of their experiences over lunch. Thanks for coming!


Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886