First responders gather in Jackson for conference

JACKSON, Tenn. — For two days, first responders from across the state came to Jackson to learn from each other. 

Thursday was the second day of the eighth annual Tennessee Emergency Preparedness Summit.

“They are here to gather once a year and learn about new trends in industry, how to improve response times, how to improve care,” Tennessee Department of Health Emergency Service Coordinator, Matt Haynes said.

Firefighters, police officers, paramedics and sheriff’s deputies from across the state came to Jackson for the two day conference.

“All big disasters start as local disasters so we try to work from that angle,” Regional Hospital coordinator, Wayne Arnold said.

Wednesday they heard from speakers on how to respond to ritualistic scenes, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation case studies, including accelerant detection dogs like Wrigley and an update on the opioid epidemic.

The conference also allows first responders to talk about what worked over the past year, and things that can be improved.

“The limitations on some of the old things, the way old business is done, versus the way new things are done. More efficient, better equipment, new studies and those types of things,” Haynes said.

Now they will take back everything they learned to improve care and response times in counties across Tennessee.

“Fight Flu TN” was also announced.

All 95 counties will be offering free flu shots on Nov. 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.

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