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RDPC imageKnowing how to respond to the news media following a critical incident or planning for event security is vital to first responders, but many small and rural police departments simply do not have the funding to pay for officer training in these critical areas.

In August, rural first responders, event planners, and public safety professionals will have an opportunity to receive free training in media response and event security at two U.S. Department of Homeland Security-certified courses presented by the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) and The Center for Rural Development.

These instructor-led courses—“MGT 335: Event Planning for Public Safety Professionals” and “AWR 209: Dealing with the Media: A Short Course for Rural Emergency Responders”—will be hosted onsite at The Center in Somerset.

The event security course, scheduled for Aug. 8 and 9 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, will cover basic principles for organizing security for events in small and rural communities.

At the conclusion of the 16-hour management-level course, participants will be able to recognize and plan adequate strategies and security measures to prevent or mitigate security incidents related to planned events.

Whether it is roadside at the scene of an emergency or detailing directions to the public in a crisis situation, first responders are often asked to provide information to the news media.

The media response course, planned for Aug. 10 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., will provide first responders with the skills and knowledge to quickly adapt to the role of a public information officer, if and when needed, and to communicate with the public through the media.

As a strategic partner in the RDPC, The Center is responsible for the design, development and continued support of the RDPC web presence, online training registration, reservation and evaluation reporting capabilities, learning management systems, and marketing of course offerings. The Center has become a trusted partner to the RDPC and its academic partners by providing an opportunity to inject cutting-edge technology into the RDPC training delivery and development process.

For further information on these and other RDPC instructor-led training courses, visit