FEMA training first responders for disasters

First responders getting FEMA training

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Around 80 or so first responders from around the county packed a conference room at the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations Center Tuesday.

This was the second day FEMA reps worked with them on how to better respond to emergencies.

"How are we going to get things done in a time of disaster so there is no delay for the citizens of Tuscaloosa County,” Tuscaloosa County EMA Director Nick Lolley told WBRC.

Local authorities weren’t doing anything wrong before. But they believe they can work together more efficiently after several days of this training.

"We need to train together. Our equipment and technology is changing every day,” Lolley continued.

They also want to get information out more quickly to better inform people impacted by disasters.

"Structural awareness on how to keep everyone up. The use of social media. How, important that is,” Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Chief Randy Smith continued.

The high point of this inter-department training happens later this week when the county’s Emergency Operations Center will work in conjunction with the City of Tuscaloosa.

"The city is setting up their I-C-C, Incident Command Center headed up by the Mayor of Tuscaloosa, and we’re going to learn to communicate with one another for the first time with these new facilities,” Lolley explained.

That test is scheduled for Thursday. The groups attending the four-day training session included police, fire fighters, Northstar Ambulance Service and public health officers among several others.

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