By Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
At the monthly meeting of the Tucker County Ambulance Authority, the board was informed of a plan to offer a series of 25 search and rescue classes in the county. Mike Canfield addressed the board.
“Some of you know me, some of you don’t,” Canfield said. “I’m Mike Canfield. I’m with Tucker County EMS, also with the OEM office.”
Canfield thanked the board before informing them of the purpose of his visit. “I was asked to go to Summersville, West Virginia to take a very important class,” Canfield said. “I passed the course with flying colors.”
Canfield distributed materials to the board outlining the proposed courses and said that he was looking for students. “I have a couple of papers I would like to hand out,” Canfield said. “I’m looking for students. It can be young, old, male, female. You don’t have to be associated with no emergency services, fire, law or anything like that.”
According to Canfield, age 16 and up are allowed to participate with parental approval. Canfield also said that anyone in the area is welcome to attend. Students are not required to be a Tucker County Resident. Canfield said there is no cost for the classes.
According to Canfield the courses are open to the public. “They are open to the public,” Canfield said. “I need twenty students. Nineteen including myself because I am going to attend every one of these classes.”
Canfield said if anyone was interested in the course to contact him as soon as possible. “If you guys would like to take some of these classes, get with me so I can start organizing and go out to the public to see if I can get other students to come on board so we can get Jeff Cunningham up here to teach these classes.” According to the WV Emergency Management Division website, Cunningham is the Training and SAR Officer.
Tucker County Commissioner Mike Rosenau was present at the meeting and offered to have the information about the courses posted to the Commission’s Facebook page. “If you would bring a list of the classes and whatever, as well as the contact information, we can put it on our Facebook page, too, the Commission, to help get the word out.”
Interim Director Amanda Simmons commented that the courses are a welcome addition to the county and have been needed and requested for some time. “I will tell you this,” Simmons said. “This is something that the Fire Department has been asking for, for several years. Alan Cosner who is Company 20’s Chief, is elated to see these classes coming in.”
According to Simmons, Cunningham is excited to have these courses offered in Tucker County. “Jeff Cunningham was like, ‘I am elated. I will come up and do every class that your training officer cannot.’ So, Joe will take the classes that are on the list that he can do and we will go from there.”
According to Canfield the following courses will be offered and are two-to-three-day courses:
- Land Navigation using Map and Compass
- Lost Person Behavior
- SAR Incident Command/Management
- NIMS 100, 200, 700, 800 (Done Online)
- First Aid, CPR/AED, Stop the Bleeding
- SAR Radio Communication, Ham Radio
- Clue Awareness, Tracking
- Search Strategies
- Swift Water Awareness
- Scent Theory
- Blood-borne Pathogens
- Crime Scene Prevention
- Air Scent Canine
- Trailing Canine
- HRD Land
- HRD Water
- Drone Safety, Search Strategies with Drone
- ATV Safety, Search Strategies with ATV
- Mountain Bike Safety, Search Strategies with Mountain Bike
- Night Search Operations
- Flora/Fauna (Plant and Animal Awareness)
- Safe Water (How to make water safe to drink)
For more information, contact Mike Canfield at 304-642-1711.
The next meeting of the Tucker County Ambulance Authority will be held September 20th at 5 p.m. at the Five Rivers Public Library Meeting Room at 301 Walnut St. in Parsons.