Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FORT PIERCE – Recognizing the need for skilled individuals in disaster relief, urban search and recovery and emergency management, eight members of the Haitian Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action are completing a 15-day training program at Indian River State College’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex. Through intensive, hands-on, train-the-trainer exercises in light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, fire safety and suppression, incident command and emergency preparedness and planning, these eight individuals will return to Haiti and train up to 60 young people in these same skills.

These efforts are part of a year-long training plan with the Ministry and IRSC and will include three more eight-member teams with the potential for additional intermediate and advanced technical training in the future. It is expected that these four teams will train up to 1,000 individuals in Haiti’s equivalent to U.S. counties and states. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action is tasked to train the youth of Haiti on important vocational skills. Since the earthquake of 2009, the Ministry conducts disaster response and emergency preparedness training in Haiti. The training is paid for exclusively by the government of Haiti.

"Training partnerships such as this provide much more than traditional learning opportunities,” said Stephen C. Huntsberger, Dean of Public Service Education at IRSC. "In addition to cultural interactions and shared educational experiences, our local economy is positively impacted by training that brings in participants from outside our area who visit area businesses and utilize local goods and services.”

The IRSC Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex is a 50-acre living laboratory featuring highly-sophisticated and state-of-the-art facilities and resources used daily by public safety students and local, state and federal agencies. The Complex is home to the Employ Florida Banner Center for Homeland Security and Defense and is charged with providing education, training and information for Florida’s workforce on homeland security, emergency response and counter terrorism. For more information on this training occurring with Haitian government, contact Stephen Huntsberger at (772) 772-462-7950.