Local first responders train together for disasters

JACKSON, Tenn. — First responders from across the region trained together Thursday for disasters. It is part of the fifth annual Tennessee Emergency Preparedness Summit held at Union University.

tepsconferenceJackson-Madison County Regional Health Department Emergency Response Director Lynn Mooney said it helps to be familiar with other agencies. “It helps us to be able to know who we are, know what each one discipline can do, can’t do,” he said.

About 200 first responders including firefighters, police and paramedics learned about a variety of situations. They covered everything from active shooters to the drought, wildfires and natural disasters.

“We want to know what to do, how to do it, how to work together,” Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Brad Wilbanks said.

Lt. Derick Tisdale with the Jackson Police Department said networking is key. “Who do I know that has what I need in order to be successful?” he said.

First responders also had the opportunity to check out new gear and technology that is available.

First responders hope training together helps them work better together when it really counts. “It helps us to respond better and protect the public better,” Mooney said.

Organizers said agencies from across West Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri all attended the two-day conference.

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