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First responders on Tinian participate in disability training (August 10, 2017)

(NMC) — As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance services that are provided to individuals with disabilities, the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities or UCEDD housed at Northern Marianas College recently held a training workshop on Tinian designed for first responders.

Participants of the training included members of the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting division of CPA, the Tinian Police Department, the Tinian Health Center, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

“The training focused on helping first responders prepare for interactions with individuals with disabilities,” said Floyd Masga, UCEDD director at Northern Marianas College. “The workshop is part of a series of other workshops we have been hosting for other first responders on Saipan and Rota.”

Other objectives of the training included: identifying and overcoming barriers that first responders face in serving people with disabilities; providing first responders with the information and methods that will help to ensure effective and appropriate communication between first responders and people with disabilities; and providing first responders with guidance on how to identify characteristics or behaviors of people with disabilities that could mistakenly be viewed as threatening, and to identify best practices to avoid escalating the situation.

Upon completion of the training workshop, participants received certificates from the CNMI UCEDD at NMC. There were 19 people who attended the training workshop held at the NMC Tinian Center.

According to Jennifer Castro, UCEDD program manager, the training participants expressed their satisfaction with the disability training and said that they learned a lot from the workshop, which would help them in their respective jobs.

“One of the firefighters suggested that the training should be mandatory for all first responders,” said Castro.

Marjorie Daria, resident director of the Tinian Health Center, said, “Offering trainings like these can help first responders communicate better with people with disabilities. This can lead to better care and better outcomes for everyone involved. I think that although training for First responders is a priority, anyone who isn’t a first responder and is likely to deal with anyone with disabilities, should take advantage of this learning opportunity to better their skills.”

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