Missouri emergency planners consider additional training opportunities

The Meramec Region Emergency Planning Committee recently met to examine multiple ways to offer more training opportunities to emergency responders in south central Missouri.

The committee met on February 26 to determine how to better prepare first responders to handle hazardous materials and the unique challenges such materials can present, therolladailynews.com reports.

During the meeting, the committee learned that some board members are certified to teach hazmat awareness courses. The members offered to teach the class to other agencies if needed.

The MREPC held its first full-scale training exercise in Chamois during the fall. The group looks to plan future full-scale exercises throughout the region.

"We are trying to get folks lined up because the funds are going farther than we expected," Tammy Snodgrass, the environmental programs manager and assistant director for MREPC, said, according to therolladailynews.com.

The commission also learned about a statewide earthquake exercise called Capstone being planned by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. As part of the exercise, state and local agencies throughout Missouri will focus on emergency response during a major earthquake event, therolladailynews.com reports.

The MREPC works with local governments and the private sector to maintain plans to respond to chemical hazards. The committee coordinates and offers training opportunities for first responders in the area.