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Report by : Lillie Buckingham and Barbara Barnes,

On March 6-7, 2020 South Central Conference Adventist Community Services held its annual ACS Institute in Huntsville, Alabama at Oakwood University. This year, Adventist Community Services and the Alabama Fire College partnered to provide emergency services training needs to its volunteers.  The workshops presented were: “Hazardous Materials/WMD-Awareness and Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response.

Hazardous Materials Awareness was very helpful to our volunteers. Some may not think we handle Hazardous Materials in our warehouses but we actually do. One of the most common potentially hazardous materials handled by ACS Disaster Response volunteers is common household bleach. A one-gallon container purchased for home use may not seem like it creates a Hazmat situation, and normally it would not. However, if it were to be combined with another chemical, such as another cleaning product which contains ammonia, a Hazmat situation immediately exists.

The Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response class taught us how to be aware of our surroundings, especially, in places of worship. There has to be a new way of thinking in how to protect ourselves and how to better serve members and congregation.

Dwayne Williams, South Mississippi ACS disaster response coordinator thought the workshops were awesome and timely. Vernon Giles, North Alabama ACS disaster response coordinator, stated, “The workshops were highly informative and interesting and the presenters provided good examples of how to protect ourselves.” Wayne Blanding said he is following up with the Active Shooter class and plan to utilize his knowledge in his church.