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SUNY Canton to host disaster preparedness training


CANTON — North country citizens will learn how to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies during a state-sponsored training program Saturday morning at SUNY Canton Roos House.

The North Country Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program is part of a statewide initiative that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in January. The governor said he wanted 100,000 citizens trained in responding to emergencies by the end of the year.

Michael J. LeCuyer, director of St. Lawrence County Emergency Services, said a team of New York National Guard soldiers will give a two-hour presentation starting at 10 a.m. He said local emergency officials also will attend to answer questions.

“We want people to become more self-sufficient and better prepared in their own homes,” he said. “It alleviates some of the stress on our 911 system.”

The training is sponsored by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington, and the St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Office.

“This is a critically important issue, especially because our region is in such close proximity to an international border, and I’m thrilled to co-host such an important event where some of the most knowledgeable people in the field of emergency preparedness will be sharing their knowledge with the public in an effort to prepare them, should disaster strike,” Mrs. Ritchie said in a statement.

Mr. LeCuyer said the program focuses on basics like what people should have in their home in case of emergency.

“This is to make people more aware of the essentials during a disaster,” he said.

People who register at will receive a preparedness kit that includes items such as batteries, a first-aid kit, food bars and a blanket.

“With its top-notch academic programs in the fields of homeland security, emergency management and criminal justice, SUNY Canton is known across the state as a cutting edge academic institution that is truly ahead of the curve when it comes to emergency preparedness. This makes the college an ideal place to host this weekend’s citizen emergency preparedness training,” Mrs. Ritchie said.

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