Are We Ready, or are wE Just Prepared?

The recent news and social media reactions to the novel corona-virus pandemic among the prepared and unprepared populist reveal our ignorance and lack of commitment in our abilities to protect ourselves against emergencies and disasters, this includes me as well.

I have been very prayerful about posting anything as a result of the recent pandemic crisis only because I want to act responsibly when conveying information that could save or severely impact the lives of many people.

We all must give an account of every word we utter, and I refuse to exploit the fears and hype others every time a crisis event gets our attention.

ITCHY EARS!

First, I am compelled to warn all under the sound of my voice, not to be led by what the Bible refers to as “itching ears”.  All of us are curious to know and understand what’s going in our worlds, this is normal and healthy, but what isn’t healthy, but nonetheless,  all too normal is the tendency to turn away from truthful, accurate or correct information for information that’s more “spicy, or controversial”, opinions and theories that detract from the truth, leading away from what will help and protect us.

Whomever we have chosen to listen to, be prayerful and ask yourself, what is their experience in the areas where they speak with authority? What about their track record or history of being correct? I remember the “Jade Helm”, “Shemita” and the “Deep State”, predictions and conspiracies during the President Obama administration. How much of what was broadcasted and printed during those years was proven to be true?

This reveals another one of our many issues,

“WE HAVE A SHORT MEMORY!”

I have been in ministry of protecting people for over 30 years, both physically and spiritually; as a Police Officer, Campus & Healthcare Security Officer and Supervisor, Executive Protection Agent (Bodyguard), Corporate Security Training Management Professional, Basic & Advanced Life Support Instructor, EMT, Medical First Responder, Defensive Tactics and Terrorism Awareness Instructor, Ordained Minister, and Mental Health Recovery Specialist.

I share this about not to brag or out of being puffed up, I do so because I want you to know my heart, I am not sharing my knowledge and experience to boost likes and views for our social media marketing, I have proven and continue to strive to prove my care and concern for your safety & security.

I would like to share my observations with about the current events, and what we can learn as we move forward in our efforts to guard against all-hazards.

When it comes to protecting ourselves and our communities against hazardous threats, our objective is not just preparedness.

OUR OBJECTIVES ARE PREPAREDNESS, READINESS AND RESPONSE!

Believe me, this is not a play on words, and I am not “splitting hairs”, these are three distinct terms that drive our efforts to guard against or minimize threats from emergencies and hazards. We must learn and master them.

The Emergency Preparedness Cycle

Let’s look at an example of how each term is used and what they look like as it applies to our situation.

Let’s say you want to implement “emergency preparedness” plans for your family. You decide to start with making sure you and/or your family maintains a food supply for at least a month in case an event disable the food supply chain, so the stores can’t be restocked. Long before this becomes a problem, you begin to:

Plan – How much to spend for extra food to store, the type of foods, where to buy it, and how it will be stored safely and securely. Decide where the foods should be stored, how it should be stored, and the process or procedure to make sure the food is rotated out to avoid spoilage, how the food will be distributed and served. Are there any specific dietary needs?

Organize– Designate who is going to monitor the storage and distribution process. Will there be a daily menu? Who creates and coordinates it?

Train – Learning how to best prepare the foods, make sure everyone in my group has some type of knowledge of what food is available and how to prepare it. Make sure everyone knows the types of foods that are available to them. 

Equip – Make sure we have the utensils, tools, and supplies needed to store, prepare and serve, and if needed to dispose of the foods.

Evaluate – This is your periodic dry-runs or drills. Try to create a scenario, as realistic as possible, to duplicate the conditions which you may find yourself having to use the different types of food that you have stored. Did your plan work? Has the food been rotated correctly? Did you have the right utensils, tools, and supplies? Do members of the group need their training updated? Does the type of choice of food need to be changed? Do we need more food or less? Are the storage method and facilities adequate? This is where we see the hidden cracks and weaknesses in our planning.

We then repeat the process, back to planning again, this time we bring any new information we have discovered from our dry-run or drill.

Whatever it is, it’s coming whether we’re ready or not.

Emergency Readiness

Emergency Readiness is our ability to meet and exceed the demands of what it takes to “immediately” help protect our community from the harm of emergencies and disasters with little or no warning, at any time, or any place.

Example: You are at the local mall with your family. You find yourself in the middle of an “Active-Killer” event. You hear gunfire and immediately see that there is a woman calmly and systematically shooting people as she passes them by. You also realize that she is headed directly toward you as she raises her weapon!

You possess a concealed carry permit, have been to the gun range several times, but have had no combat handgun training and have never even been in a fistfight in your life! You are carrying a Glock 27 subcompact handgun though, it is charged with a full magazine, but you do not carry a round loaded in the chamber. You usually don’t carry it holstered; you prefer to carry it in the inside breast pocket of your winter coat.

You had CPR and First Aid training many, many years ago, so you know enough to have the first aid kit. The kit you bought from Walgreen’s a couple of years ago, is kept in your car, which is parked in the mall parking lot.

Given the circumstances I have laid out, most of you would consider yourself prepared to address this scenario and many people would likely agree with you, but I need for you to see that just being  prepared may not be enough to save you or the lives of those around you.

We must maintain a disciple of readiness as well if we want to live and save lives!

1.      If you carry a weapon, any weapon, train how to use it in a reality-based combative setting. Be Ready!

2.      Handguns are designed to be carried with a loaded or charged magazine, and a round chambered in the breach in order to make the weapon ready for immediate use; select the target, orient the weapon, and squeeze the trigger. This can be done relatively quickly and with one hand. Carrying an unchambered weapon, on the other hand, requires that it be chambered first, which means it takes a separate action grab the slide with the hand opposite the one that is hold the weapon, pulling the slide back firmly, and releasing it so the spring throws the slide back forward, load the chamber with a round/cartridge from the magazine, then you’re able to squeeze the trigger if you want it to go bang. This maneuver requires precious seconds the killer may not allow you to have. Chambering a round requires the use of both hands, which you may not have because you may be holding a child or physically guiding family members to safety, or you may be injured, leaving you with only one. This may be prepared, but certainly in no way ready to deal decisively with a killer.

My prayer is that you would have a chance to even get your weapon in the fight before you and your family are shot and killed. Hoping to engage an armed assailant who has you targeted – by drawing your weapon from your inside coat pocket is “all kinds of crazy!”. If you can only wrap your head around the bad things that can happen by attempting to draw a weapon from any pocket, under intense stress while being mindful of getting your family out of harm’s way! If you carry a weapon, ALWAYS wear it in a holster, buy training with how to draw your weapon from a good defensive holster while wearing clothing over it, you will be able to get it in the fight quickly and smoothly. Be Ready!

3.      You have a first aid kit, Bravo! Do you know what is in it? Do you know how to use everything inside of it? If you had the opportunity to use it, how accessible would it be you in the parking lot of the mall? What about a trauma kit in addition to a first aid kit? Gunshot wounds usually require more than a band-aid and some burn ointment? Remember:

“With Little to No Warning, Any Time, Any Place”

Be Ready!

Emergency Response

Emergency Response is the actions we take “during or after” an emergency or natural disaster to help protect ourselves and others from emergencies and disasters.

Your prepared, and you’re ready, now execute the plan! This is bringing your training and experience to bear on the situation to deal with it decisively, and correctly. We can’t just react or develop any kind of response either, no matter how many hours and expense go into a well-developed plan, if poorly executed, it could end up being worthless and many people can get hurt, or worse.

There’s Always The Next Thing

If you’ve been following along on my journey you’ll recall that I’ve jumped off…

…flown through the air…

…hung in mid-air for awhile…

… and was supposed to land on my back and remain in a blissful state of peace and rest for the entirety of my remaining days. (If you’re new to my blog check out the blogs leading up to this below.)

Remember that dream I had?

Sooo, why do I feel like this sometimes???

Ok, to be honest, for the most part I feel like this>>>>

This is NOT me. It’s my amazing friend, Tammi, and our just as amazing Lead Instructor, Thurston.

My arms are really tired lately. But, they’re being supported by my Creator, Yahuwah, and my wonderful brothers & sisters and family.

For those of you just reading this blog for the first time, in a nutshell, I’ve jumped in, quit my part-time job, and have devoted my full efforts to this mission. No big deal, right?

Remember that dream I had that I shared with you? You know, the one where I landed on my back, no impact from the water, and floated blissfully away?

Uh, well, I’ve been looking for that feeling again. I’m just being transparent here. It’s been a whirlwind.

I listed my house for sale by owner, sold it in less than a week, with no real plans of where to go, closed several weeks after that. And I’m still here! The buyer of the house really made it convenient for me to take my time moving (I don’t know how people move so fast! I’ve been trying to get ready for a year and a half!) or stay if I want. That’s something I never thought of! It’s pretty amazing how things work out.

In the midst of this, I’m assisting my mom as she struggles a bit more as she ages, trying to educate myself on managing a new learning management system for the organization, run the social media campaigns, set up the trainings, etc., blah, blah, blah. I’m not telling you all this to complain although, it’s been hard.

But I thought I was supposed to be floating! I have to admit I’ve had stressful days. Days I’ve wrestled with if I’ve made the right choices. I’ve had to fight off the negative thoughts about making the same mistakes… again. Are we really supposed to be doing this?

One day while on my daily trail walk, I asked, “Why am I not experiencing that peaceful, blissful feeling I had in my dream? What is wrong with me?!” Then I realized it. There’s always the “next thing”.

I accomplished a pretty big task of selling my house but then began to think about the “next thing”. Now what? What do I do? Stay? Go? Rent? Buy? Move in with my mom? And believe me, it’s been a daily- sometimes on- and -off throughout -the -day thing! To the point of being ridiculous.

I had to confront fear. Yep. I’ve never been a fearful woman. (Except for the fear of bats which I have also had to confront, once again, this year!) But, I realized that the fear of returning to struggling financially again had put me in this constant state of, I hate to admit, worrying about lack. How crazy is that? I have never REALLY lacked a day in my life! Struggled, yes. Almost lost everything, yes.

Worrying about the “next thing”. On that walk that day, I realized there will always be the “next thing”. How profound, right?! I really should have known this. You know, there are those moments when truth really hits you and this was one of those moments.

The thing is I, we, need to learn how to have peace in the midst of ALL circumstances and the “next thing”, whatever it may be.

And now in the midst of what could possibly turn out to be a pandemic, who knows what the “next thing” will bring? Well, there is ONE who knows.

I won’t go into what we, as an organization are already experiencing, and right when we were about to step into our “breakthrough”. Instead, I choose to believe and trust in what’s already established for us, and look at this time as a chance to get that learning management system process locked down and begin our online classes!

I know some of you struggle with the same thing. What’s next? Now what? What should I do? How will I do it? I want you to know you’re not alone.

Something that has helped me in the past is to remember how I’ve come through. Sometimes you have to go through to get to!

(I can’t find the picture with the correct view! The shirt says, “Educate, Train, Release”. We need help!)

To remember how I’ve been brought through some very difficult times. My life’s biblical scripture is, “You shall have your life as a prize of war becuase you put your trust in me,’ says YHWH.” (Jeremiah 39:18)

Let’s try to stay focused, think on good things and float in bliss! Because there’s always the next thing.

Peace and good health to you. Shalom!

Donna

Emergency Preparedness & Response: My Scope of Practice

Hey, my name is Thurston and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit of what I do here at World Wide Academy Training Services, and what’s in my head and my heart (my heart is pretty safe, my head, on the other hand, is kinda scary).  

I have been intrigued by the preparedness ethos since my pre-teens. I had a brief stint in the Boy Scouts of American, where my scout troop did an excellent job of planting the seed of “Be Prepared” in my psyche.

My Understanding of How This Works

It wasn’t until my career in security that the concepts of “Emergency Preparedness” became life for me as an adult.

I used to do some executive protection work for several years. It was during this time I noticed that most of my peers in close protection were more interested in doing security advance planning or surveillance detection. I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, but I gravitated more toward contingency planning. I was the “hemorrhoid” who always asked, “what if…..”  

I was the guy thinking about what do we do if the vehicle we’re driving our principal around in breaks down? Do our team and the principal have a ” Personal Emergency Relocation Kit (PERK) ” (Bug-Out Bag) that travels with us and an alternate one staged at a backup location? Where is our severe weather gear? I understood that we cannot possibly plan for the possibility of everything, but you have got to plan for the “important” things that may even be outside the realm of probabilities!  

“Emergency Preparedness and Response” began to emerge as a specialization of mine without me even realizing it.  

Phulasso, “To Guard”

My calling began to become clearer when I was led to arranging what I envisioned into a systemic program called “Phulasso”, Greek for, “to guard”.    

I wanted to develop a “third-party” protection system that will train practitioners to provide safety & security for their families and their communities against a broad spectrum of natural and man-made threats in the most effective way, with minimal resources.

The System

Phulasso encompasses the following disciplines:

  • Emergency Preparedness & Response Planning
  • Physical Security
  • Self Management Skills
  • Personal Protection
  • Anti-Terrorism
  • Fire Safety
  • Emergency Medical – Austere/Wilderness Medicine for Pets & People

Stay in My Lane!

While working here at “Worldwide Academy Training Services”, my training background and experience have come together to enable me to provide basic and advanced instruction in the above mentioned disciplines.

Because the topic of emergency preparedness & response encompasses more than a few disciplines, it was important for me to have a clear definition of my “scope of practice”. I am no homesteader nor bushcraft survival expert; not a tier-one operator (military Special Operations veteran), nor a veteran military medic. In other words, I have enough sense to know that I must, “stay in my lane”. The areas where I have limited or no knowledge, I eagerly leave for those experts that do.

I am a committed teacher and counselor, and life-long learner, encouraging you to share your knowledge and to learn with me.

Educate…Train…Release

Present Situation…Mid-Air

Today was the day. I took the dive. It was my last day at the part-time job I held for almost two years. It was a bittersweet day.

Somehow it didn’t feel like what I felt like in that dream I last wrote about. I had some mixed emotions. Mostly, sad because I will not see my co-workers as often nor the kids I have grown to love. Somewhat excited to be free to devote more time to this mission and the new business developing. But I didn’t quite have the peace I felt in that dream when I was floating on my back in the water.

My kids hugged me and told me not to go. Then off they ran to greet their parents soon forgetting I wouldn’t be there next time. Some of my co-workers encouraged me by telling me how they had learned much from me. Something I really hadn’t realized. The co-worker who worked with me in the same classroom brought me flowers and, offered to help me write my book. My supervisor kept giving me the sad, pouty face and thanked me several times before reminding me to come back at any time. The executive director thanked me and offered to help in any way they could with this mission. I held back my tears and kept telling them all I’d probably be back in several weeks! Just because I’d need to see them and would help when they were desperate. Time will tell.

I cried on the way home. When I started this position, I tell you, it was hard! I had probably the most difficult group of kids, tweens, that had been there in recent years. Most of those kids now when I see them hug me and tell me they’re doing well, at least in their minds. Then last year I had a number of very difficult kindergarten children. I made it. They made it. They have their moments but, they are doing well. This year has been the best. That makes it all the harder to leave!

It is time though. I must move forward. It’s now or never. It’s do-or-die. Failure is not an option. Momentum is building and the time is now.

As I reflect on the emotions I’m experiencing I realize these are the emotions of “mid-air”. They’re crashing one into the other- sadness, joy in knowing I did my best, relief, excitement, and just maybe a twinge of fear if I let it in. I’m taking that breath before I hit the water.

And, on impact, I’ll be on my back, floating, and in peace. Thanks for following along the journey! Tomorrow I hit the ground running!

Donna

Winter Weather Preparedness for Cats & Dogs (With a special feral cat reminder)

Many of us take for granted that our pets don’t require any special attention during the winter months, but that is far from the truth, especially if your pet happens to be a breed that is not particularly adept to cold temperatures, is in fair to poor health, very young or very old, or just has a reputation for having “high-risk behaviors”.  

The purpose of this article is to serve as an awareness tool that I hope will jump-start your “preparedness mind” to take steps to prevent and respond to the related health risks for this time of year.

Winter-Related Conditions

There are certain cold-related conditions that can lead to potential health risks or even death for our pets, and the pets in our community. Conditions like:   

  • Power Outages
  • Winter-Related Medical Injuries
  • Heater/Furnace Accidents

Power-Outages

If you have to take your outside, be mindful of downed power lines, especially at night where dangerous electrical hazards may be more difficult to see. If there is a risk of exposed power lines outside, it’s a good idea not to let pets outdoors unsupervised at all.  

Winter-Related Medical Injuries

Let’s divide Winter-Related Medical Injuries into two categories: Seasonal Injuries and Cold-Related Injuries.

Seasonal Injuries

Anti-freeze. Often found in standing water on driveways & streets. The sweet and tasty toxin that can lead to a quick and agonizing death. Initial symptoms: drunken walk, drooling, vomiting, seizing, and excessive thirst and urination. The result is severe kidney failure.   

Salt/Ice Melt. Toxic material that pets end up licking off their paws. It can cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Some of these products can also cause chemical burns on the animals paw pads.

Ice/Drowning. Falling through ice can lead to drowning. Pets should be discouraged from walking on ice altogether. They are not capable of determining whether ice can bear their weight or not.

Winter Holiday Plants

  • Poinsettias, have toxic sap that can cause irritation to mouth and stomach as well as vomiting.
  • Mistletoe. Extremely toxic. Symptoms include drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain. If ingested in large amounts, walking drunk, collapse, seizures and death. Warrants an immediate emergency veterinarian visit.
  • Holly Berries. Toxic berries & leaves. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and depression.
  • Pine Tree Needles. Mouth irritation.
  • Lily. Extremely deadly to cats. Any pet that has ingested any part of this plant should be taken to the veterinarian immediately.  

Cold-Related Injuries

Hypothermia. Being exposed to cold temperatures that reduce core body temperature at 99°F (35°C) and below. Symptoms are pale gums, strong shivering, listlessness or lethargy.

Arthritic Pain. Animals with arthritis often experience more discomfort due to cold temperatures, decreased physical activity and changes in barometric pressure.

Heater/Furnace Accidents

Burns. When pets jump, dive, slide or bump into or near open flames (fireplaces/stoves) or exposed heating elements (heaters), they can get burned, or start house fires. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a threat.

I want to encourage you a responsible pet owner to be as proactive as humanly possible to prevent or be prepared to manage the threats that your pets may experience at this time of year.

Get basic life support and awareness training for your cats and dogs so that you will know what to do in case of emergencies. If you already have the training, its a good time to review what you have learned and “drill your skills”.

Feral Cats

For those angels of mercy who care for our feral cat communities, don’t forget their special needs during the winter months.

Shelter

You must make certain that whatever shelter they use, is “insulated” to weather the extreme cold of the region. Non-moisture absorbent material like straw works very well. When the temperature drops, cats will go wherever they can get warmth, even if the area is unsafe. We have to continue to monitor their sheltering location to make sure that it remains safe, dry and warm.   

Food & Water

During cold temperatures, the nutritional needs of cats increase. Therefore, their demand for more food and water must be addressed, particularly to avoid dehydration. Providing wet food in insulated containers can help with hydration by making the food easier to digest.

Jumping Off

I had a dream several months ago. I was on a pier-like bridge down at the river that separates my town from the next. I was at the beginning of the pier. As I began to walk forward I noticed a post next to me. I thought to myself, “If I jump in here I might hit the post and hurt myself.”

I continued to walk forward across the pier and when I got to the end, I dove in. I didn’t feel myself hit the water nor even remember myself submerging. All at once, I was floating on my back, hands behind my head, basking in the sun. It was the most incredible feeling! One of joy, peace, and rest! I then woke up.

On waking, I remembered this dream immediately! For the most part, I have come to realize which dreams are of my own flesh and which are divinely delivered. This was, I believe, divinely delivered regarding the timing and the result of my “jumping off” moment.

If you read my last post, “Flying Squirrels”, you’ll remember I stated that the time was coming soon that I needed to “jump off, fly, and hit the ground running”. NOW is that time!

You’ll also remember that I’ve done this before. No biggy, right? Wrong! It was harder this time. And as I stated in that blog, I’m taking off from a more difficult position this time.

I’m going to be open and real with you. Times are difficult for me. They have been for about 18 years now! But, that has never stopped me before. When it was time to step out into a new season, a new adventure, I did it. I’m not saying I didn’t ponder and pray and seek counsel but, I was less fearful. This time was different because it truly feels like an all-in, do-or-die moment!

So what’s the big deal? What am I jumping off into? For the past almost two years I’ve worked a part time job to…well, to eat, put gas in my vehicle, and maybe pay a few bills. And I mean a few! That job, including travel time, ate up 5 hours of my day. I worked on building World Wide Academy Training Services around those hours. On top of that, I am preparing to put my house on the market for sale which requires time. AND…my mother is slowing down and needs my help.

There just wasn’t enough time for me to do everything! In order to move steadily forward and keep my sanity I needed to make a change. So I decided, after much wrestling with my Creator, to walk away from the part time position. To dive off the pier, to jump, land, and hit the ground running. To take a leap of faith. To put my all into this organization!

I gave my supervisor notice of my resigning. Getting the words out of my mouth was the hardest part but, I did it! When I took the dive, I had no idea how the bills would get paid. This will either “fly” or I will lose everything. I have to do it. It’s a massive vision (which I hope to continue to unveil as time goes on). I’m not getting any younger and people are depending on my progress. The time is NOW!

So, thank you for coming along on this journey with me (actually us, because it will take others to bring the vision forward). I don’t know what the next months really look like. I don’t know what every step will look like. I do know that it will be another time of growth and faith-building for me. I hope you will be inspired by my journey. Enough so that you will step out and do what you were created to do! Let’s run together. I’m looking forward to “floating on my back” with joy, peace, and rest. How about you? Here’s to childlike faith!

Donna

P.S. Just in the last week, after my diving- off decision, I came across an opportunity to partner with a dear friend and assist her with her mission. In assisting her I’ll be able to bring in more income and move WWATS forward. You never know what’s waiting on the other side until you dive in!

Pear Pie and the Basics

I have a pear tree in my backyard. This time of the year I try my best to snatch the pears off the ground and the tree, staying ahead of the squirrels, bees, and flies who feast on them. So many pears! I give them to neighbors and friends. I put them in my salad. I mix them with my vegetables. I make pear honey. I bake pear pies.

So what does pear pie have to do with the basics?

As I was mixing the ingredients for my pie I got to thinking about the amount of time it was taking to make it. Mostly because of peeling the pears! I thought about how we have such little time to bake and cook like we used to. Or like our parents and generations before us did. It really takes effort and time to cook and bake as they did. (Even with a store-bought pie crust!)

So much was different in “the good ‘ole” days. The best thing was time spent with family and friends. These days we can barely fit time in for our families.

The culture we live in holds us captive. We can’t (or maybe we just don’t) live as generations before us did. All in the name of progress. We work more in order to stay afloat in a system which was meant to keep us captive, as slaves. Robbing us of our time, energy, relationships, provision.

I wonder how many of us would thrive and not just survive if the system were to collapse? I’m really concerned about the younger generations, especially the children. How many of them will know how to produce the foods needed to survive and then to prepare them? What about living in less than “ideal” circumstances, especially without their electronics!? Or how to fix their vehicle if they have one? What about sewing their own clothes?

We, at World Wide Academy Training Services, are training people to know what to do in times of emergency, especially how to help others. We have a vision to educate, train, and then release our students into a struggling world. We have a vision to teach our children and grandchildren how not to just survive but, to thrive! Our hope and belief is that one day soon we will be teaching on a farm – things like gardening and farming, fishing, cooking and baking, sewing, auto mechanics, and more of well, the basics.

So now you know what pear pie and the basics have to do with one another. By the way, it’s delicious!

Our Story

Thanks for joining us!

Our certified instructors have decades of real-life experience in…

  •   Education & the Arts
  • Basic & Advanced Life Support
  •   Self Defense
  •   Terrorism Awareness
  •   Safety & Security

Certified Instructors

Donna Ruggiero, Executive Director and Instructor

Hi and welcome to WWATS! Our story is one of years of molding and shaping and transformation! It’s one of trials and testing, perseverance, and patience- with lots of laughter and blessings along the way!

I grew up knowing I would be a teacher. My journey took me from college to owning my own performing arts school to founding a small, private school in my hometown neighborhood to this present endeavor. What a journey it has been! There really isn’t enough space to write about it here. One day I may write a book!

My desire is to assist my students in becoming life-long learners. I love teaching! I love when I see my students’ faces light up because THEY have discovered something new or something finally clicked! I see myself as a guide helping my students discover the gifts and passions that make them who they are, preparing them to make a difference in their environments and in the earth!

Thurston and I started working on the training workshops and classes during the time that School of Creative Arts (the school I opened in my neighborhood) was in operation. We had met during an outreach in the neighborhood and discovered we both shared the desire to see our neighbors, students, family, and friends be prepared for emergency situations. Thurston spent many hours preparing and imparting valuable knowledge and practice to our students at SOCA. HE is the expert in this area while I stick to the academic teaching and administration, and assistance with the emergency medical and emergency preparedness trainings!

I’m excited for this next step along the journey! Thanks for coming along with us! I hope to meet you all some day at one of our trainings either on-site or online!

Thurston D. Gill, Jr., Instructor Emergency Medical, Emergency Preparedness, Safety & Security