CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The annual West Virginia Public Safety Expo wraps up Saturday after four days of training for first responders and displays of the latest in emergency response equipment.

Kanawha County Chief Deputy Mike Rutherford said a lot of deputies took advantage of the training opportunities.

“We really encourage and try to get all of our people over here, as many as we can, particularly for the training,” Rutherford explained. “It’s excellent training.”

The event got underway on Wednesday. Public Safety workers have sat in on lectures like safe schools, troubled kids and dealing with crash injuries in the field. They’re also getting training like Judo, reading smoke and basic emergency skills.

Last year, the event drew in more than 500 people. Organizers are hoping for at least that many this year.

Even though not all the deputies will be able to attend the training, Rutherford said those who do will take what they’ve learned and share it with others in the department.

“That’s one thing we are very, very proud of, keeping our guys up on the new information, the new technology, the new way of doing things. And we work hard at that. We’re really proud of our guys getting out and learning new things,” said the chief.

More than 50 vendors set up shop in the grand hall Wednesday and Thursday showing off the latest in technology from tires for emergency vehicles to fire gear and cruisers.

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  • knows

    makes sense that they would learn judo.......barney fife claimed he knew it too

  • Small Town Homeowner

    Two years ago a member of our town's VFD stole $50,000 from department. At the same time, the chief spent thousands of dollars on very grandiose, military style parade uniforms for himself and the members. I think if we would do away with the pseudo-military frippery and pay a little more attention to the finances, our volunteer fire departments will be more self supporting, better trained, and better equipped to do their job, which is to protect citizens, not to run gambling operations and play 'dress-up' at the taxpayers' expense.