This week the Sheriff's Auxiliary is scrambling to make last minute preparations for our Apple Butter Makin' Days deployment. Apple Butter Makin' Days is Lawrence County's largest annual festival, held in Mount Vernon with attendance of approximately 25,000 people. Although the festival is exciting and a big draw for the city, it places a huge burden on emergency planners which could not be met without the help of many volunteers. This year the LCSA is deploying under the Mount Vernon Police to assist in parade and night security patrols during the festival weekend, resulting in long hours on graveyard shifts.
We operate in a community with some number of Latinos (3.39% of the population from the 2000 census), some of whom have little or no English skills. Spanish proficiency can therefore be a highly useful skill in emergency or disaster response. Spanish For First Responders is a handy resource with vocabulary (such as anatomy terms), phrase lists (consent, mentation, examination), and scenarios for first aid/medical response.
The bulk order of radio handsets (or at least the first set of radios for the community purchasers) have arrived! Some of you may even have gotten yours by now and may be wondering what in the heck to do with them. This post will start to answer that question and we (the local emergency response community) will provide (free) classes in the near future to get you further down the road (keep reading).
As a "uniformed civil service," the Sheriff's Auxiliary uses a rank structure and courtesies based closely on common military organization. The advantages of a military structure are clear lines of authority and chain of command in emergency situations, but they may not be familiary to people without a military background.
Many emergency response organizations are tracking the H7N9 avian influenza outbreak in China in case the virus spreads outside Asia. This article summarizes the situation, announces a webinar scheduled for 2 May 2013 and a community preparedness exercise being scheduled by the Disaster Resistant Communities Group for September.
What are the first steps in starting a Sheriff's Auxiliary? How do you build the core staff? How do you establish qualifications? How do your initial officers qualify to participate when the training program doesn't exist yet? How do you determine what the responsibilities of the Auxiliary are and should be? This article is a start on answering those questions for folks in other counties interested in starting their own programs.
The Sheriff's Auxilary will be providing a tutorial session at the upcoming USAPrepares expo in Lebannon, Missouri (6-7 April) on how to start a county Sheriff's auxiliary. This will be a nuts and bolts presentation on the type of paperwork needed, staffing requirements, how long you can expect it to take, how to write the mission statement and so forth, with access to additional resources.
The National Rifle Association, Naitonal School Shield Task Force has released a report comprised of recommendations for enchancing school security (Scribd document: http://www.scribd.com/doc/133630146/NRA-s-National-School-Shield-Report ). The report has been heavily criticized for focusing almost exclusively on the use of School Resource Officer (SROs), basically Law Enforcement Officers attached to schools, but I will refrain from commenting on this until I have finished reading the report myself.