Emergency responders hope added training increases safety - KCTV5

Emergency responders hope added training keeps them and others safe

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Last year two emergency responders were killed in the Kansas City area while working an accident scene.

It's a very dangerous job as some first responders are put in some very dangerous positions. That's why one group was teaching the teachers Wednesday. KC Scout hosted the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) National Traffic Incident Management Train-the-Trainer Course Tuesday and Wednesday at the Central Jackson County Fire Training Center.

First responders got trained Wednesday for emergency situations that they may not expect when they arrive on scene.

"They help the public and sometimes they do that at the expense of their own safety, that's why they have to be constantly mindful of the situation and awareness," trainer Steve Cyra said.

Hundreds of first responders, such as police officers, firemen, EMS, towing and department of transportation personnel, nationally get hit every year while working on the highway and many of them are killed. Those scary statistics are why crews spent the day learning proper techniques when dealing with highway traffic and unaware drivers who are quickly approaching an accident scene.

Being an emergency responder is probably one of the most dangerous jobs anywhere and those at the training said that's why it's so important to have proper education.

"It's all based on mistakes that other fellow responders have made and, in many cases, something simple like exiting a vehicle cost that worker their life," instructor Ron Moore said.

Wednesday's training is the largest of its kind anywhere in the country. Nearly 150 emergency responders spent the day learning techniques that might save their lives, as well as other drivers.

KC Scout's goal is to eventually have one of the classes in every state.

Those taking the class said they know the dangers.

"There's officers being struck literally every day, several officers killed. Firefighters, six to 10, are killed a year, tow operators, far more than that. It's troubling when you think of the number of things that happen out here," said Bill Johnson with the Kansas City, MO, Police Department.

Those involved in the training will now take what they've learned and teach their departments.

Course instructors said the first step is convincing responders to put on the high visibility vest because that's the first step in thinking safety first.

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