Dry Weather Means More Training for Emergency Workers

Even with the rain across Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday, we’re still about eight inches below the average rainfall for this year, that’s according to KNWA’s Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff.
So how is the weather affecting the Washington County Emergency Management Department?
We spoke with the Department about how less severe weather could means more time for emergency worker training.
John Luther, the Director of Washington County Emergency Management said there were extra resources available after the the good weather throughout the year.
“What [money] we normally use for [emergency] responses was lower this year, but what we normally use for training was higher,” Luther said. 
Despite recent rainfall, the last three seasons in Northwest Arkansas have been unseasonably warm and dry.
Luther said that allowed for more time to focus on emergency worker training.
Luther explained,”Where we normally may have been in the field in the past with a lot of emergency responses, floods, fires, uh tornados, severe weather events things of that nature. This year because that number has been lower than normal for us we’ve been able to take that time that’s available and put more into our training hours.”
Fewer emergency calls means less supplies are being used, according to Luther.
Luther says left over emergency food and drink supplies are re-purposed back into the department for more on-location training, like search and rescue exercises.
“My main concern is when we put people in the field either here or anywhere else, we want to take care of their needs, we don’t want them to be a burden on the people they are going to go help.  The people that they are going to help probably already have a problem or they wouldn’t have called us,” Luther said.
The next training session is October 29th and all emergency workers in the area are encouraged to attend.

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