CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hundreds of public safety officials and first responders are in the Kanawha Valley this week for the West Virginia Public Safety Expo.
The expo, which goes through Friday, features vendors from all over the country with the latest clothing, equipment, fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars, and has dozens of courses.
“Whether it be EMS, fire, law enforcement, we have classes to help them keep their certifications and get hours and get taught new technologies and techniques,” Mike Oakley, the Deputy Director of Kanawha County Emergency Management said.
Oakley said the event had 400 preregistered participants from all over the map of the U.S. including one international student.
He expects another couple hundred individuals to sign up at the door for courses taught by some out of town instructors from larger markets.
One new course participants can take is with Amtrak trains.
“Monday and Tuesday they were teaching law enforcement about law enforcement response should an incident occur on one of their Amtrak trains,” Oakley said.
“Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) they are teaching fire personnel down in South Charleston how to respond in case one of their passenger trains has an accident.”
Oakley said the training on the trains is just part of the ever-growing technology that first responders and public safety officials have to learn.
“They are training on a train and that’s not something you get to do very often,” he said. “Car technologies are changing so we have classes on car technologies and how to cut them up without doing further damage to your patient and yourself.
“Technology continues to change and we have to involve in the first responder community.”
The expo also features courses for the general public to take.
Oakley said they expect well over 60 individuals to participate in courses such as “Stop the Bleed,” safety preparedness, active shooter preparedness, and fire extinguisher training.