The Center for Rural Development is pleased to announce that the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) has surpassed it’s 100,000th student trained! RDPC has been training emergency responders in small, rural, and tribal communities for nearly 15 years. In-person, instructor-led courses as well as online courses are provided. “The Center is excited that our program has reached this huge milestone. We believe that every emergency responder that we train has an impact on their community, to make an impact on 100,000 is a major accomplishment for the RDPC. We hope to continue training and reach 200,000 students soon.” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development.
On May 16th, 2019, Stephanie Haggard attended the delivery of AWR 209: Dealing with the Media: A Course for Emergency Responders in Winchester, KY and was the 100,000th student to complete a RDPC course.
Stephanie, Public Information Coordinator with the Northern Kentucky Health Department, just started her new role and wanted to attend the course to get a better understanding of how to handle a crisis. This 7-hour course provides rural first responders with skills needed to communicate with the public through the media and examines the roles of the media and the rural first responder/public information officer. Participants learn how to give print/electronic media interviews, write news releases, provide information at the scene, and how they fit into the joint information system.
For Stephanie, there were several parts of the course she found to be important to her new role, “The hands-on experience is something that you don’t usually get the chance to learn unless you are in a crisis. Getting real world experience in a safe way was very helpful.” Stephanie said. “The templates provided have also been very helpful, I use them every time I write a press release. I haven’t had a press conference yet but I feel like I’m prepared if I ever do. Now I have the knowledge to step back and take a breath. Some questions are going to be hard, but now you are prepared so take a deep breath and answer as best you can.”
Stephanie spoke very highly of Mr. Day saying, “Bobby was very personable and had a lot of very good information. He made the class fun. It was a bit nerve racking to get in front of the class, but he made it fun. We laughed and learned.”
This course is delivered by RDPC consortium member, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). EKU is located in Richmond, KY and is one of 6 academic members with the expertise in developing and delivering U.S. Department of Homeland Security curriculum for rural and tribal first responders. Bobby Day has been an instructor for RDPC courses for nearly 10 years. When asked what he believes is the most important thing that participants should take away from this course he responded, “Far more confidence in dealing with the media and giving the public the information that is expected as well as learning many techniques for dealing with tough questions and ultimately bringing credibility to themselves and the disciplines they represent.” Find out more information regarding RDPC on our website, www.ruraltraining.org or call 877-855-RDPC(7372).