March 24, 2016
The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium recently trained first responders from Ohio in preparation for the Republican National Convention, which is expected to draw in thousands of people.
The Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center hosted the training on Event Security Planning for Public Safety Professionals. Some of the first responder agencies that attended the training include the local police department, sheriff’s department, the Emergency Management Association, city and county fire departments, the office of public health, the county health department and a few private sector businesses.
Rick Gromek, the critical infrastructure and training coordinator at the Fusion Center, said this type of training helped local agencies work together in preparation for the event.
“We were able to learn how to work well with partner agencies, which allowed us to better prepare for the RNC,” Gromek said.
The training is a two-day course which is designed to provide planning and management-level skills to public and private sector event security planners and first responders. Students are provided with essential skills and knowledge that allows them to understand the importance of planning and managing security for special events.
“This type of training – it opened up the participants eyes because we had a diverse crowd,” Gromek said. “It provided myself and the students with the understanding and importance of knowing how to prepare for and handle security for events such as the RNC.”
The training was delivered by Eastern Kentucky University instructors Dr. Jerry Wells and Bobby Day. Instructor Bobby Day has worked with the Kentucky State Police since 1991 and has taught military and law enforcement personnel throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Wells is a 32-year law enforcement veteran and holds degrees in criminal justice and leadership.
“In any organized special event, but in particular a large and high profile event such as the RNC, there is always the specter of chaos and disruption whether it comes from a terrorism attempt, protest interference with the freedom of movement or even an intoxicated attendee,” said Dr. Wells.
Instructor Bobby Day said in events similar to the RNC there will also be a merging of multiple agencies, disciplines and jurisdictions which alone could create issues.
“Add to these concerns – planning, staffing, logistics, intelligence gathering, risk assessments, crowd control, access management, traffic and transportation while still being able to respond to non-event calls for service,” Day continued.
According to Wells, practice and preparation for any situation is important and the Event Security Planning course allows first responder agencies to better prepare for any outcome.
“The MGT 335 […] is a great course for a return to basics for experienced public safety responders and a great first time course for newer responders,” Wells said. “It prepares adult learners for any special or major event gathering of citizens which may be coming to their home community.”
Day said it is extremely important for first responder agencies to prepare/train for events such as the RNC due to the diverse components involved in any/all special events.
“Preparation and training will expose threats, vulnerabilities and concerns that must be addressed with resources and additional training,” Day said.
Planners must also work with media outlets in order to provide safety and security information to the public and even patrons before, during and after the event, Day continued.
The Republican National Convention will take place on July 18-21 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH.
For more information on the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, go to www.ruraltraining.org.
The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium is led by The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky. The consortium offers tuition-free training to rural first responders in all 50 states and 6 U.S. territories. All training is certified by the Department of Homeland Security.