|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Elwyn Davis will host disaster training sessions Saturday

  • Disaster workers undergo special training that teaches them how to respond a  wide range of natural and manmade disasters.



    “Then we sit back and hope we never have to use any of our training,” said Elwyn Davis of the Pittsburg Salvation Army disaster team.

    • email print
  • Disaster workers undergo special training that teaches them how to respond a  wide range of natural and manmade disasters.
    “Then we sit back and hope we never have to use any of our training,” said Elwyn Davis of the Pittsburg Salvation Army disaster team.
    Two Salvation Army disaster training sessions are slated Saturday, and Davis said that space is still available in both.
    The cornerstone of the Salvation Army’s disaster program is mass feeding, so Disaster Food Services: Handling and Delivery will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
    “This doesn’t have anything to do with recipes,” Davis said. “It’s about how to keep food safe and serve it.”
    The course prepares participants to serve on a Salvation Army mobile kitchen and introduces them to the essentials of safe and sanitary food preparation. It incorporates ServSafeA food safety standards.
    “In order to take the food course, the prerequisite is the Intro to Emergency Disaster Services course, and that will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to noon,” Davis said.
    A retired mathematics professor who taught 41 years at Pittsburg State University, Davis has taken both classes.
    “About two or 2 1/2 years ago I heard about disaster training classes from a lady at our church, so I checked  with Capt. Gary Gugala,” he said. “I had no idea before that that the Salvation Army did anything like that. I had just taken the training, and then the Joplin tornado hit. I’ve been working in disasters ever since.”
    Pittsburg Salvation Army disaster workers were among the very first to reach Joplin after the May 2011 killer tornado.
    “Our canteen was in Joplin almost two weeks,” Davis said. “Toward the end  we were just feeding first responders. At first we fed refugees.”
    Then there was a tornado in Wichita, fortunately much less severe.
    “As we headed to Wichita, we heard that there might be 5,000 people displaced,” Davis said. “Actually, there was little damage done.”
    Closer to home were the straight line winds that struck south Pittsburg and the  Jake’s Fireworks fire.
    “We fed people and kept them hydrated,” Davis said.
    He said that there are currently at least 15 people, trained and certified, on the Pittsburg Salvation Army disaster team. Davis currently serves as the team leader.
    “One of our goals is to keep adding capacity,  in case something like Joplin happens again,” he said.
    Davis and everybody else on the team would love not to have to work another disaster, but Capt. Gugala doesn’t think there’s much chance of that.
    “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” the captain said.
    Anyone interested in the disaster training courses should contact him at the Pittsburg Salvation Army, 307 E. Fifth, 231-0415. Cost is $10 per course, and some scholarships are available. A noon meal will be provided.

        calendar