Franklin County residents who would like to be trained to help police and fire departments during emergencies are invited to attend the Public Safety Support Academy.
The next series of classes begins March 16 at the Sharon Township Police Department, 95 E. Wilson Bridge Road. It will be hosted by the Sharon Township and Worthington police departments.
The program was formed in response to a directive from the federal government to train community volunteers to assist in times of natural and man-made disasters. Graduates also will be qualified to volunteer with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department at community events.
The first academies were held beginning last fall at the sheriff's department training center in Columbus. The next classes will be held in Worthington to accommodate people from northern Franklin County.
"We plan to hold them in different quadrants of the county," said Worthington Chief of Police James Mosic. "Our goal is to train 1,000 people this year."
The classes are held Saturdays, with graduation planned for June 1. Adults will attend classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a cadet class for young people 14-21 to be held from 2 to 6 p.m.
The curriculum is hands-on and prepares students to actively assist public safety entities more so than the traditional academy.
To apply, go to the Franklin County Sheriff's website, sheriff.franklincountyohio.gov.
The academy offers adults and teenagers the opportunity to train and learn how to assist first responders in managing, controlling and recovering from any catastrophic events that may occur not only in their community, but in neighboring communities as well.
The eight-week training curriculum includes units on disaster preparedness, terrorism prevention and awareness, first aid and CPR, traffic control, interoperable communications, fire safety, and light search and rescue operations
Prerequisites include completion of Incident Command System courses 100b, 200b and 700a, which are available online at training.fema.gov/IS; and completion of a satisfactory background check.