Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Cass County Emergency Management Agency

ABOVE: Rocky Buffum, Cass County EMA Director, presents certificate of appreciation to Kevin Johnston, Duke Energy. Photo provided.

Cass County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) looks forward to providing more free training programs to area first responders thanks to the help of the Duke Energy Foundation. This will include offerings for firefighters, EMS, Law Enforcement and other community partners.

Rocky Buffum, Director of the Cass County EMA, was excited to receive news of the foundation support. “A big part of what we have been doing the last few months is training to bring our own members up to speed, and also to identify areas of concern for response partners. This has included offerings of HAZMAT Certification Courses, a course for fire instructors and an Incident Safety Officer Course. These programs come with costs that were not budgeted for. The support of the Duke Energy Foundation enables us to continue to provide these in demand opportunities without asking for additional appropriation of tax dollars.”

“We have a long history of working side-by-side with emergency responders in the communities we serve,” said Duke Energy Government and Community Relations Manager Kevin Johnston. “Safety training is a priority for us all that we are glad to support.”

Foundation support will help to pay for books, consumable materials and ancillary items to make further training programs possible. Buffum identified some of the further offerings slated for this year as Community Emergency Response Team Training, training on the Intermediate and Advanced levels of the Incident Command System, and drills and exercises to build confidence and identify areas for further response system enhancement.

“The $2,500 gift from Duke goes a long way in this environment. We’ve spent a lot of extra time and effort getting HAZMAT equipment up to the level it needs to be at and catching up on training from the last two years where factors such as COVID shut a lot of things down. It is great that we have so many community partners stepping forward to help with direct support. The ability to carry forward projects with state and foundation revenue streams, and not asking for more money from the county tax coffers, has been a big help. We want to thank the Duke Foundation for their support, and also let the community know we are trying as hard as possible to be good stewards of tax dollars by seeking out these opportunities.”

SOURCE: News release from Cass County Emergency Management Agency