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HazMat Awareness, Emergency Response And Weather Spotter Training Classes Being Offered In Knox Free To Participants

The Knox County Emergency Management Director Keith Gudehus and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is helping to offer several different training courses in Knox County this year. Community members serious about learning are asked to participate.

This Saturday, January 25, 2014, for the first time in recent recollection, a Basic Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Awareness Training Course will be hosted by the EMD and LEPC at the Knox County Community Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The daylong training is being offered free to participants and all meals for the day are included.

Basic HazMat Awareness Training is recommended to all local emergency first responders including fire, ambulance and police. Training such as this is mandated by federal regulation for first responders and will count toward continuing education credit hours. The course is designed to teach emergency first responders to operate in a non-intervention mode, protecting themselves and others from exposure to hazardous materials.

There is room for 25 to 30 participants and all local first responders will have priority, though community members are welcome to participate in the course. Those living outside of Knox County may also enroll in the class. This class is just a few days away and anyone who wishes to participate should contact the Knox County EMD Keith Gudehus at (660)341-2896 or as soon as possible to reserve a spot.

Another class, which is geared more for community members interested in learning about emergency preparedness in general, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training my be the course for you.

According to information released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

CERT training in Knox County will take place over two Saturdays, March 1 and 8, 2014. The location of this course has yet to be announced. CERT training is also free to participants and it is recommended to anyone interested. If you would like to take this course you can reserve a spot by calling the Knox County EMD Keith Gudehus at (660)341-2896 or by sending him an email to

Severe Storm Spotter Training is also being offered in Knox County this year on March 6, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. The location of this training course has yet to be announced. The National Weather Service’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Kramper is expected to give a two to two-and-a-half hour presentation to anyone interested in taking the course. Storm Spotter Training is required for those who wish to be listed in the NWS Storm Spotter Database though participating in the database is not a requirement of the course. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. This class is also free to attendees. Please call or email Knox County EMD Keith Gudehus to reserve your spot at (660)341-2896 or