by Fred Mullen

FIREWORKS—fortunately this July 4 holiday we are blessed with plenty of green grass and good mositure in the soil, so wild fires will be a bit more difficult to get started. However, in some locations there is still enough cured small fuels to cause problems. So be careful with the fireworks around your barns, sheds and hay storage areas. Check the gutters and roofs of your homes for dead leaves and pine needles. Remember, some pine and cedar trees will burn readily even shortly after a rain.

RESPONDER TRAINING—Saturday July 22 is a big day for Franklin County Reponder training at the Conference on the Arkansas Tech Ozark Campus. Responders from all disciplines and agencies are encouraged to attend. Checkin will begin at 7:30 am and presentation begin at 8:00 am. OEM certificates will be presented for sessions attended. We have flexible schedule on this training so please attend whatever sessions you can or you want. The final schedule will be posted later this week. A total of 6.5 hours of Act 833 Credit can be received. Lunch and refreshments are provided. We’ll have some neat doorprizes, too. Four topics will be presented. For more information, call Fred at 479-209-0818.

Topics will include: Electronic Media Relationship— reporters and staff from KDYN Radio, KBHS-TV and KFSM-TV giving a presentation on how we can best work together to get the most accurate and timely information out to the public especially during an emergency incident or disaster.

Agricultural Chemicals Used in Franklin County—Farms, ranches, timber managers, co-ops, hardware stores, right-of-way managers and others present a special challenge for First Responders. Some of these chemicals are toxic, some irritating, some ignite easily and accelerate quickly. We’ll learn about situation awareness, product recognition, first aid, and, fire fighting. Jesse Taylor, Franklin County Extension Agent will be the facilitator. Arkansas Fire Academy will grant 1.5 hours Act 833 credit for this session.

Shore Based Water Rescue—Unfortunately, Arkansas is among the states with the most number of drowning victims each year. Law enforcement officers and fire personnel are usually the initial First Responders to the scene. This presentation will provide First Resonders with needed skills to use a throw bag to effect a water rescue. David Sutter, Franklin County SAR Training Officer, will facilitate this session. Arkansas Fire Academy will grant 3.0 hours Act 833 credit for this session.

Perimeter and Patrol Search for the missing person—Generally speaking the longer the missing person has to travel before they are detected, the bigger the area that must be searched to locate them. That means more time and more searchers needed, with a possibly depreciating outcome. In this session, we will learn about some techniques and methods we use to prevent them from getting past us on roads, trails, waterways, etc. We’ll also do a few map exercises to practice setting up perimeters and patrol tactics. Melissa Francis, Franklin County OEM Senior Deputy Coordinator, will be the facilitator for this session. The Arkansas Fire Academy will grant 2.0 Act 833 credit hours for this session.

SAFETY TIP—when hiking, hunting, boating or even on a drive on the backroads, leave a travel plan with a friend. Give the friend instructions on the time you shoud be considered overdue so they know when to call for help. This information helps law enforcement and search and rescue locate you more quick. A simple and helpful plan includes vehicle description, who is going and their cell phone numbers, intended routes and activities. For more good stuff, check