Leadership Jackson County team organizes emergency situation training


You could come upon the scene of a wreck or a fire.

You could become involved in an active-shooter situation at work or school.

If you saw someone who needed medical attention or was distraught because of the incident, would you know what to do until first responders arrive?

To make people feel more confident and comfortable helping in those situations, a Leadership Jackson County project team has partnered with Nate Bryant of CPR Education and Lin Montgomery with the Jackson County Health Department to offer You Are the Difference training.

The free classes are set at two different times Tuesday — 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. — at the Jackson County Learning Center, 323 Dupont Drive, Seymour.

The health project team consists of Rachel Cockerham, Nancy Davis, Jeremiah Tracey and Cathy Wichman.

“Our group is a unique variety of people with different backgrounds, and we all decided that across our community in the county, there have been several instances of major tragedies,” Wichman said.

That includes shootings, car accidents with fatalities and people or vehicles getting hit by a train.

One such incident was in March 2016 at Cummins Seymour Technical Center in which an employee shot his manager before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide.

“I think that just resonated with all of us that you just never know when you’re going to be a part of a situation like this, and we need to be prepared,” Wichman said.

“We felt like this kind of training would be an opportunity to give people power where they could feel like they have a way to help,” she said. “There’s nothing like feeling powerless when you’re standing there watching traumatic things unfold and not knowing what to do or how to help.”

Each class is limited to 25 people. To register, call Davis at 812-583-0576 or email [email protected].

The first half of the class will help educate people on steps they can take until emergency responders arrive, and the last half is designed to help people of all ages in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or traumatic event. No medical background or prior knowledge or training is required to attend, Wichman said.

“It just really goes to tell us that each of us has a responsibility to our community to be prepared when things like that happen and you as individuals make a difference,” she said. “That’s really why we chose the topic. We felt like it would give everyone an opportunity to feel like they could make a difference.”

Bryant, owner of CPR Education in Seymour, and Montgomery, public health coordinator for the health department, conducted the same training in June 2018 at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.

“We know they had a good course last year and the people believe that it was value-added,” Wichman said.

Cockerham said the group decided to organize the training with Wichman having contacts working in the health care field, and the rest of the team worked together to come up with a location for the classes and promote the free offering.

“We thought it would be good for everyone in the community to be aware you are the difference if you come across any kind of accident,” Cockerham said. “It is something that I’m hoping when they go through this that they will be more confident in helping out when they come across an emergency situation.”

Tracey works for the city of Seymour, but he also has been a firefighter with Jackson-Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department since October 2018, so there are times he has to respond to emergency situations.

He said the basic knowledge that the You Are the Difference course offers helps if anyone comes upon a scene where there’s a medical emergency,

“In any time in their life, it could happen at any point,” he said. “I think it could help give first responders that arrive on scene a little more hope or just help first responders out a little bit more. Even if you’re just arriving at a fire scene, maybe you could help and assist before (emergency personnel arrive) so the ones that do have the knowledge could continue to help and transport the patients and get them the help they need.”

As of Thursday morning, Davis said she had five people confirmed for the training, but Bryant also had reached people through posting the team’s flier on Facebook.

“If you have a loved one or if you might come upon an accident, you would have some knowledge of what to do. It may save their lives,” Davis said.

“On the mental awareness, it’s not only maybe coming upon a shooter that is mentally challenged or a loved one that you know is mentally challenged, it’s also someone that is in a situation like that, you might be able to calm them down, talk them out of it or try to respond to them in an appropriate way,” she said.

Davis said she has benefited from the Leadership Jackson County class, and she hopes their project is beneficial to the community.

“I just think the Leadership program is a great program because it brings all kinds of people together,” she said. “Really, we were not aware of who to contact, but after we go through that program, you have so much insight to what’s appropriate or who to call or how to help. It’s just really a great program.”

If someone can’t make it to Tuesday’s class, Wichman said the hope is for Bryant and Montgomery to offer it again in the fall.

“We hope that our class will give them traction to continue their work,” she said.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: You Are the Difference training

When: 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Jackson County Learning Center, 323 Dupont Drive, Seymour

Who: The Leadership Jackson County health project team of Rachel Cockerham, Nancy Davis, Jeremiah Tracey and Cathy Wichman have partnered with Nate Bryant of CPR Education and Lin Montgomery with the Jackson County Health Department to offer the training

Cost: Free

Register: Call Nancy Davis at 812-583-0576 or email [email protected]; each class is limited to 25 people


No posts to display