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Practice like you want to play the game. It’s an adage that’s popular at almost all levels of athletics, and it’s an ethos embraced by L.E. But with a profession that can involve perilous or fatal situations, how do you create training drills that are as realistic as possible, especially in use-of-force scenarios? Even with safety protocols, reaching that level of authenticity can have dangerous consequences.

This article appeared in the January/February issue of OFFICER Magazine. Click Here to view the digital edition. Click Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

Late last year, there were at least three acci dental law enforcement training shootings:

  • August: A Washington, D.C., officer was killed when she was shot by an instructor during a training session at a library.
  • October: A veteran U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was fatally shot by a colleague in an exercise at an outdoor Miami gun range.
  • December: A Sansom Park, Texas, police officer was critically wounded when she was shot in the face during an active shooter training exercise at a school.

OFFICER Magazine spoke with two training instructors about the measures taken to ensure that drills are safe.

‘No substitute for experience’

Good law enforcement training tries to create drills that bring participants as close as possible to what they’ll face on duty. And when it comes to training for situations that could involve a physical confrontation, the more realistic the setting and scenarios, the better.

“There’s no substitute for experience and giving people pseudo-experience and the highest fidelity possible will actually create pre-combat veterans,” says Ken Murray, the training director for the Armiger Police Training Institute in Florida and founder of the Reality Based Training Association. “We’ve been able to prove this time and again. And also when it’s done properly and effectively, we were able to demonstrate through some studies with the Australian Special Forces that you’ll get a 600-800% increase in training efficacy with longer durability over shorter periods.”

A master instructor who has spent years as a police and mili tary trainer, Murray has written a book and multiple articles and policy papers on the topic. In the late 1980s, he co-founded the non-lethal ammunition and training company Simunition.

The training isn’t just about picking up the physical skills needed to respond to a variety of potentially dan gerous calls and events. It’s also about acquiring mental and emotional discipline in the face of intense situations, something Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Deputy Sheriff Tom Perroni calls “stress inoculation.”

Perroni, along with being a deputy, is the current owner and training director for the Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy in Virginia. He’s worked in public safety and law enforcement for over 30 years and an instructor for just as many, with 15 of those years as a firearms instructor.

“I think force-on-force training is very important,” he says. “It’s probably the closest thing we can get to realism as far as understanding it’s the genuine weight of your gun, when you pull the trigger you get a bang, a projectile comes out, and you’re firing a projectile at a human being. … It’s a dynamic situation that’s evolving, and you have to think, shoot, move and communicate, and it adds a realism that’s unmatched in training.”

But realistic training has its limits. To para phrase Allen Iverson, we’re talking practice.

“When you say force, there is some mea sure of physicality,” says Murray. “I will say there’s some measure of interactivity, but not necessarily a use of force.”It’s when that physicality and interactivity come into play that safety becomes essential.

Following the protocols

If training is the foundation of a good law enforcement officer, then preparation and forethought are the building blocks of a good training. That starts with by answering a seemingly basic and self-evident question: Why are we doing this training?

“The first thing is we decide what are we testing and we should be teaching them before we test,” says Murray.

“What most experiential training ends up being is experimental training, in that they don’t truly know what the outcome is going to be,” he adds. “They’re going to put something into motion, stand back with their clipboard, watch what happens, and then give them the positive-negative-positive sandwich, which is one of the silliest ways to train that I’ve ever seen.”

Murray says not having clear training goals can set off a ripple effect that can have ramifications when it comes to the genuine exercises. A “let’s see what happens” approach can lead to loosely scripted and mapped out scenarios that can leave too much up to chance. A lack of tight planning creates a less-controlled environment and potentially increases the possibility of potentially dangerous accidents.

Once goals are established and plans are in place, work begins to make sure the training area and drill itself are safe. Murray and Perroni both religiously run through safety checklists before every exercise begins. Perroni, in fact, has his checklists on flip cards that he likens to an officer’s Miranda rights card.

“We’ve got an entire protocol that we go through in our schools that we train for instructors, and we’ve got a checklist that takes you all the way through how to make an area safe,” says Murray. “We break things down by areas much like the FAA breaks down airspace. Class A airspace … is the most controlled airspace there is. That’s where jumbo jets are flying. That’s where everything big and fast is floating around with a lot of people on board. And so with us Class A space is the most dangerous, as well, because we’re doing interactive training and we’re going to be pointing weapons at each other. We’ve got different levels of weapons that we’re going to be pointing at each other and we break those down by conditions. By way of example, condition blue is anything that can fire a pro jectile at you. That can either be a marking cartridge, a paintball or an Airsoft VB.”

The instructors also heavily rely on their dedicated safety officers. These are the people in blaze orange vests who stay vigilant that the safety rules are being followed. That can mean securing a training environment searching and re-searching participants to make sure they aren’t bringing unsanctioned equipment, such as their ser vice weapons, into the area. And in the reverse, it can mean double-checking to see that everyone is wearing all of the proper protective gear. Murray says it’s not unusual for participants—and even agencies—to be lax in enforcing the safety protection, thinking that it’s not a big deal in much the same way a motorist might not buckle up.

“There’s got to be some manner of personal protective equipment and that’s non-negotiable if we’re going to be shooting things at each other,” he says. “And a lot of agencies dumb that down to the point they allow groin protection not to be worn. They allow gloves not to be worn. They allow throat protection not to be worn. Some agencies are as idiotic as to only allow eye protection instead of face protection. And these are some pretty large, sophisticated agencies that do things catastrophically badly. And they’re just they’re going to run out the clock and create either significant injury or potential death.

“Now, with the significant injury part of things, every single one of them is avoidable.”

But not-so-significant injuries are no walk in the park either. Ask Perroni, who was mistakenly shot with a non-lethal round while he was running a room clearing exercise for civilians. He was the safety officer for the drill and was outfitted in his protective gear and an orange vest.

“We had one young man who was very excited,” says Perroni. “He had been excited for weeks leading up to this class, and he was probably the fourth person to make a run through the house. I was standing at the end of the hallway observing him while he was moving with an instructor … and he saw me, and he shot me more than once. Probably put five or six rounds in me.

“And so that was a learning lesson to everyone. Just because you have a gun in your hand doesn’t mean that everyone is a bad guy and that you have to shoot them,” he adds. “He was so keyed up and had such tunnel vision that he just saw somebody and he started pulling the trigger.”

Leading by example

When it comes to preventing gaps in safety protocols, Murray points to being alert for pattern disruptions, which are actions and events that can interrupt your normal habits and potentially introduce dangerous situations. He likens it to a mother placing a baby carrier on top of a car and then answering a phone call. She might have a conversation and by the time she’s done, she’s forgotten about the child on the roof and is driving away.

“Pattern disruptions happen to us all the time, and when we get pattern disrupted, when the interruption goes away, we will go back into the part of what we were doing before, and it might not be safe to do so,” he says.

Murray also stresses that instructors need to remember just how important and influential they are to the officers they train. Instructors not only reinforce the proper safety standards needed in a training environment, but the professional standards needed on the job.

“When I was seeing stage hypnosis 40 years ago, I thought, that can’t possibly be real, and if it is, it horrifies me as a trainer because if people are that malleable at some stranger can look them in the eye, say three magic words, and have them believe that they can’t remember their own name on purpose, then what are we doing by accident?” says Murray, who eventually became a hypnotist himself. “Because every trainer in his own right as a hypnotist, they’ve got all of the makings of a hypnotist. They have prestige, they have someone’s undivided attention, and they have, by its very nature, a co-opting of their critical faculty. And so anything that goes in, we need to be really, really cautious about what gets in there above and beyond the pure physical dangers of a realistic training environment.”

That’s a message that Perroni echoes, as well. Leading by example can be one of the best ways to ensure a safe training experience.

“I don’t think anyone would purposely cause harm, but we’re not perfect, nobody’s perfect,” he says. “We all mistakes, and we have to double-check, triple-check and verify that we’re safe in all training environments, all the time. The safety rules are there for a reason.

This article appeared in the January/February issue of OFFICER Magazine.

Fri, 17 Feb 2023 18:31:00 -0600 text/html https://www.officer.com/training-careers/specialized-training/article/21292787/learning-the-hard-way
Killexams : Patient safety courses a tough sell at medical schools

From increasing the use of sepsis bundles to streamlining diagnostic test ordering to improving patient satisfaction with consent procedures, medical students at the Ohio State University College of Medicine develop projects to solve real-world patient safety risks in clinical settings.

This coursework is part of the college’s four-year health system science studies focused on safety, quality and how different healthcare professions and specialties collaborate to Improve patient care.

Rather than having health professionals wait to learn certain concepts until later on in their careers, some medical schools are beginning to incorporate patient safety into curricula so graduates enter the workforce more fully prepared.

“Why wait for a physician or a nurse or someone to be in practice for years before allowing them to take a course like this or receive certification?” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. ”Let's not have them develop bad habits.”

However, medical schools must convince students and academic leaders that patient safety is worth prioritizing. Schools looking to implement safety curricula face barriers including student disinterest and uneven internal support for devoting resources to these initiatives.

“The biggest challenge was convincing students that they needed this curriculum and because it’s a change, and they don't see other medical schools doing this,” Filipetto said. “I’ve had students say, ‘I don't need to learn this.’” To counter these objections, professors explain how studying safety advantages students by enhancing their skills, in addition to benefiting patients, he said.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is among the innovators in this area. The school decided a few years ago to emphasize safety so students understand the importance of preventing harm, Filipetto said.

“My vision back then was: We really need to change the way healthcare is being delivered in this country because we have significant issues with medical errors and patient safety issues that result in death,” he said.

With assistance from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and SaferCare Texas, the college first developed a curriculum and a pilot program to prepare 10 students for an IHI test to qualify them for a Certified Professional in Patient Safety designation. Nine students passed on their first try, exceeding expectations, Filipetto said.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine refined its safety curriculum and now requires a two-week course and the test during the third year of medical school. Ninety-eight percent of graduates depart with patient safety certifications, according to the college.

Students learn about the foundations of patient safety, including hospital leadership, a culture of reporting adverse events, and measuring and improving performance. They also study how to identify root causes of safety failures to inform solutions.

More than 5,000 individuals have earned Certified Professional of Patient Safety designations since the test debuted in 2012, said IHI Vice President Patricia McGaffigan. Since the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine began its program, its graduates represent about 10% of those who have passed the test, she said. The IHI is seeking additional academic partners to expand its efforts, she said.

At the Ohio State University College of Medicine, health systems science students take a four-year course completing IHI quality and patient safety modules and engaging in group work to apply the lessons to clinical scenarios, said Dr. Philicia Duncan, program director of the school’s applied health systems science course.

During their final year, students engage in quality improvement projects that identify areas where care could be improved and work with faculty and others on quality and safety initiatives such as a campaign to reduce vaccine hesitancy.

The university ultimately wants safety incorporated into the entire curriculum, Duncan said. “That's almost looked at as a niche area,” she said. “Once it's demonstrated that patient safety and quality is more a fabric of medical education and medical practice, then that would help the program's success.”

The University of Michigan Medical School takes a similar approach that is personalized for students based on their interests and future specialties, said Dr. Jawad Al-Khafaji, director of patient safety and quality improvement. Students also work on projects emphasizing measures to prevent adverse events, he said.

“We've had quite a few very impactful projects that ended up changing some of the practices even here at the University of Michigan” and at Veterans Health Administration facilities, said Al-Khafaji, who practices internal medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Medical school graduates who are certified in patient safety are attractive to employers because so few physicians have been formally educated on the subject, Filipetto said. Newly minted doctors with this background are prepared to perform duties such as participating in patient safety and quality committees, he said.

Trying to recruit first year medical students to join the patient safety elective over an area like global public health is difficult because most have no idea of what patient safety and quality improvement are or why they are important, Al-Khafaji said.

In addition to persuading students, advocates for patient safety education face skepticism from academic leaders, said Lillee Gelinas, director of patient safety at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“The two most common questions we get—not just from medical schools, but other health profession schools—are: ‘How much does it cost and where does it fit in the curriculum?’” Gelinas said. “We can't answer that. The schools have to look at their own curriculum and where it fits. But the main message is: You can't just sprinkle the course of safety and quality into other courses.”

Academic leaders often are reluctant to borrow best practices from other schools or from third parties, and contend they must create safety programs in-house from scratch, said Stephanie Mercado, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality.

“One of the big misconceptions that I've experienced working with academic organizations is that they think that there's a benefit to having a custom program built by their organization,” Mercado said. “They believe it represents a secret sauce, that they are bringing something to the market that no one else has," she said.

“Programs who are trying to develop this de novo are going to miss the opportunity to have their students meet their peers where they're at,” Mercado said. “They need to be speaking the same language, the same vocabulary, the same toolkit, and we do that by aligning to a standard.”

Wed, 15 Feb 2023 20:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.modernhealthcare.com/safety-quality/patient-safety-courses-medical-schools-texas-college-osteopathic-medicine-ihi-ohio-state
Killexams : How to transcend your fleet's driver training program

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to managing your driver training programs. How you train your drivers and what comes after is a good place to start.

A comprehensive driver training program is essential in helping trucking companies keep their drivers and assets safe and keep freight moving. Classroom, online, hands-on/practical, and video forms of training, are all effective methods to teach drivers. Fleets with the best safety practices use a combination of these forms of training to teach the information and skills drivers need to know to keep themselves and others they share the roads with safe.

But even if your fleet already has a robust training program, there is likely more that you can do to further maximize the effectiveness of your fleet safety program. We get asked all the time about what more fleets can do to supplement what they’re teaching drivers through training programs. Our answer is this: find opportunities to engage with drivers after they complete training to keep the subject “top of mind.” Follow-up activities, incentives, surveys, and driver communication strategies (social media) are all things fleets can utilize post-training to support drivers.

Many top-performing fleets in the industry are already doing this. Through our evaluations of fleets each year through the Best Fleets to Drive For program, we’ve noticed that many of the finalists in the program use a combination of these follow-up strategies to help drivers better comprehend and retain training information.

See also: TCA, CarriersEdge name 2023 Best Fleets to Drive For

For concepts, particularly those that are taught online or in class, it’s beneficial to have some sort of “active” follow-up activity or series of activities for drivers to demonstrate what they’ve learned. For example, if a driver completed training on truck and trailer weight and dimensions through an online course, activities that could be beneficial to follow up with may be to practice approaching a weigh scale at the terminal with the correct speed and steering. They could also practice preparing or naming the correct documentation requirements. It's one thing to pass a written or online test, showing that you comprehend the information that was taught. It’s another to take that information and apply it in a real-world situation.

Incentives, surveys, social media promotions, and other communication strategies can help keep important safety courses at the forefront for longer periods of time. Incentives can be especially useful in aiming to prevent or correct a behavioral issue, such as distracted driving.

There are a variety of ways to use post-training engagements with drivers to support their education and safe driving practices. But it’s important to not do too many at once so you don’t overwhelm your drivers. Start small with follow-up activities that cover a specific subject and see how it goes. Depending on the subject you may find that a couple of activities are all that are needed to help drivers better understand a particular training concept, others may require more ongoing engagements. If there are opportunities for executives to participate in engagements with drivers, they should be involved. Recording a video of the president of the company practicing a driving skill like backing into a loading dock is an idea. Or better yet, have them participate in a live activity with drivers. It helps build morale and shows that everyone plays a role in being committed to fleet safety.

By continuing to engage with drivers after they complete training on safety-related topics, you can help build better safety or driving habits and Improve the overall driving learning experience.

Jane Jazrawy is CEO of CarriersEdge, a provider of online driver training for the trucking industry, and co-creator of Best Fleets to Drive For, an annual evaluation of the best workplaces in the North American trucking industry produced in partnership with Truckload Carriers Association.

Wed, 08 Feb 2023 22:34:00 -0600 text/html https://www.fleetowner.com/perspectives/ideaxchange/blog/21259511/how-to-transcend-your-fleets-truck-driver-training-program
Killexams : Safe Zone Awareness Training: Timeslot 2 (In Person)

February 8, 2023
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

About this event

Safe Zone Awareness Training is an introductory-level training in which participants can gain basic understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and issues that they face in everyday life. The training provides knowledge and skills to be a Safe Zone ally on campus. In addition to this mandatory training, two more trainings are required to be certified as a Safe Zone

Visit https://msstate.campuslabs.com/engage/event/8731100 to register.

Visit safezone.msstate.edu for information about our Safe Zone ally certification process, campus resources and other programs.

If you have any questions, email safezone@saffairs.msstate.edu.



Room 3300, Old Main Academic Center

Tue, 07 Feb 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.msstate.edu/events/2023/01/safe-zone-awareness-training-timeslot-2-person
Killexams : Professional Food Manager Certification Training Offered March 6th & 13th

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, McLennan County and McLennan Continuing Education Department are offering a Professional Food Manager Certification Training Course. This program will be offered on Monday, March 6th & March 13th, 2023, at the McLennan County Extension Office located at 4224 Cobbs Drive, Waco Texas 76710 and you must attend both days. The cost will be $125.00 which includes training, materials, and ServSafe National Food Manager Certification Examination. Payment must be made by check or money order only. The food manager’s certification will be valid anywhere in the state of Texas for five years.

This program is designed to not only prepare food service managers to pass the ServSafe certification examination; it will provide valuable education regarding the safe handling of food, sanitation, food flow, HACCP (Hazard Analysis Control Point) and managing the operation.
Foodborne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices.

For more information and/or to register for “Food Safety: It’s Our Business,” the Professional Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, call Colleen Foleen as soon as possible because space is limited. Please reserve your space by calling (254)757-5180 no later than Thursday, March 2nd, 2023.

Tue, 14 Feb 2023 22:52:00 -0600 admin en-US text/html https://freestonecountytimesonline.com/professional-food-manager-certification-training-offered-march-6th-13th/
Killexams : New safety device tested during ice rescue drill on Lake George

The North Queensbury Volunteer Fire Company held an ice rescue training exercise on the frozen waters of Lake George at Warner Bay on Sunday morning.

A 'victim' signals for help during ice rescue training on Lake George's Warner Bay on Sunday.  

In addition to being a mobilization drill and practice recovery of a rescue suit-clad “victim” from an open channel in the ice, the crew tested a new ice safety device. Called the ADK 3-in-1 Spud, it is the brainchild of Sean Callanan, a man with local roots in Lake Luzerne.

Firefighters from the North Queensbury Volunteer Fire Company set the ADK anchor ice safety device during ice rescue training on Lake George's Warner Bay on Sunday.  

Concerned by the number of ice rescues seen in this winter of greatly variable temperatures, Callanan designed the ADK 3-in-1 Spud to allow fishermen as well as rescuers to determine ice safety and to provide a secure anchor point to enable effective rapid rescues if someone does fall through thin ice.

Firefighters use a new ice safety device to cut an anchor hole Sunday during training on Lake George's Warner Bay.  

NQVFC has been instrumental in final development of the ADK 3-in-1.

The field test on Warner Bay demonstrated that the secure anchor could be set in less than 30 seconds and, in conjunction with floating rescue ropes, enabled rescuers to get victims out of the water within minutes of arriving at the scene.

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A 'victim' is transported Sunday morning on Lake George's Warner Bay during ice rescue training.  

The devices will be produced by the Bohning Company, an archery and sporting equipment manufacturer. In addition to the professional model NQVFD used, there will be an economical version for individual outdoors enthusiasts from fishermen to photographers who need to traverse ice safely.

Rescuers prepare a 'victim' for extraction on Sunday during ice rescue training on Lake George's Warner Bay.  

Firefighters arrive at Warner Bay on Lake George on Sunday for ice rescue training.  

Bob Henke writes a weekly outdoors column for The Post-Star.

Mon, 13 Feb 2023 09:44:00 -0600 en text/html https://poststar.com/news/local/new-safety-device-tested-during-ice-rescue-drill-on-lake-george/article_22f12c2c-ab3f-11ed-886b-d36554953258.html
Killexams : NASA advisers raise concerns about Artemis safety and workforce

WASHINGTON — A NASA safety panel, while congratulating the agency on a successful Artemis 1 mission, said it was worried about the agency’s safety culture and workforce as it prepares for the first crewed Artemis flight.

The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, in its annual report issued earlier this month, praised NASA for a successful Artemis 1 uncrewed test flight in late 2022. The mission, featuring the first launch of the Space Launch System rocket, sent the Orion spacecraft to the vicinity of the moon and back, splashing down three and a half weeks after liftoff.

“The historic launch and landing of Artemis I is a clear success,” the panel wrote in its report. “The mission was a tremendous milestone for NASA and represents years of focus and preparation by the overall NASA and supporting contractor workforce.”

However, later in the report the panel raised questions about the agency’s overall safety culture, particularly as it applies to the Artemis series of missions.

“The Panel is concerned that NASA’s concerted attention to a healthy safety culture may have diminished, leaving NASA vulnerable to the same flaws that contributed to previous failures. This concern was heightened by the circumstances surrounding NASA’s decision to scrub the Artemis I launch in early September,” it stated.

That was a reference to a problem during the second attempt to launch the Artemis 1 mission Sept. 3. NASA officials said at the time an “inadvertent overpressurization” of a liquid hydrogen line damaged a seal, causing a large leak of liquid hydrogen that scrubbed the launch. They speculated that human error caused the overpressurization.

In its report, ASAP said a “manual command error” from the launch control center caused the leak. “A command error in a critical system is a serious condition that, in this case, could have put the vehicle and the launch pad at risk,” it stated. “The Panel has learned that this error was communicated in real time to the Launch Director, and then subsequently in internal and public forums, in a manner that was not up to the expectations set by the CAIB or by the latest ‘organizational silence’ training program.”

The report did not go into specifics about how the error communications failed to meet expectations. It called the incident an “important — but missed — opportunity” to demonstrate key behaviors, like ensuring it is safe for people to come forward when they make a mistake and that people can offer risk-related information “without fear of recrimination.”

“Whether this case example represents one unique moment of mere inattentiveness or a deep and pervasive weakness, it serves to remind NASA of the critical need to attend closely to the fundamental tenets of a healthy safety culture,” ASAP stated in the report.

ASAP also raised concerns about the agency’s workforce, including those involved with the Artemis missions. The long gap between Artemis 1 and Artemis 2, expected to launch no sooner than late 2024, could result in a loss of expertise, the panel warned.

“Of particular concern to the Panel is the potential for a significant reduction in the size and experience level of the workforce following the completion of the Artemis I mission. There have been reports that a sizable number of experienced workers may be retiring after Artemis I, impacting the resident knowledge base remaining to execute Artemis II,” the ASAP report stated.

The panel noted that “irregular cadence” of Artemis missions, and the changing nature of each mission, will pose a challenge even for an experienced workforce. “In every respect, each Artemis mission will be properly characterized as a test mission,” it stated. “Every Artemis mission will be wholly unique for the foreseeable future.”

At the panel’s most latest public meeting Feb. 9, shortly after the release of the report, committee members did not elaborate on the concerns in the report, but did reiterate their praise for the successful Artemis 1 mission.

“The preparation, execution and post-flight assessment of Artemis 1 is a great first step for the Artemis program,” William Bray, a member of ASAP, said. “It provides a great deal of learning and build up of important muscle memory that will be necessary for the execution and success of future flights as well as the overall long-term program.”

The team working on Artemis 2, he added, was building off the success of Artemis 1. “The panel looks forward to seeing that continued rigor, discipline and focus applied to that flight.”

Patricia Sanders, chair of the panel, offered a cautionary note. “When there is a potential for schedule pressure, we will continue to be vigilant relative to that schedule pressure not causing unwise or unsafe decisions relative to performance and safety and add risk of a different kind to the program.”

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 09:59:00 -0600 More by Jeff Foust en-US text/html https://spacenews.com/nasa-advisers-raise-concerns-about-artemis-safety-and-workforce/
Killexams : Hydrogen-fueled plane begins taxi testing in preparation for first flight in Moses Lake

Universal Hydrogen’s aircraft is being put through its paces in Moses Lake, Wash. (Universal Hydrogen Photo)

Universal Hydrogen says its hydrogen-fueled test aircraft has won a key certification from regulators and has completed its first taxi tests at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash.

Those two developments bring the California-based company closer to the first flight of its modified De Havilland Dash 8-300 aircraft, nicknamed “Lightning McClean.” The plane’s right engine has been replaced with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, featuring an electric motor built by Everett, Wash.-based MagniX.

Seattle-based AeroTEC is handling the engineering work for the conversion, while New York-based Plug Power is providing the fuel cells. The Pratt & Whitney engine on the left side of the plane has been kept intact as a backup for flight tests.

Lightning McClean won a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category from the Federal Aviation Administration — which is a prerequisite for flight testing. Universal Hydrogen hasn’t provided a development timeline, but the first flight could come within the next few months if ground testing goes well.

“My job is to make sure that we can execute this first flight and future flight tests in a safe, controlled, methodical manner,” chief test pilot Alex Kroll said in a video showing the first taxi test. “I’m very excited to be one of the first ever to fly a hydrogen fuel cell-powered aircraft, and pilot of the largest hydrogen fuel cell-powered aircraft.”

The company is targeting hydrogen as its aviation fuel of choice because, when combined with oxygen in a fuel cell, the reaction produces electricity with water as the only exhaust.

The zero-carbon technology is meant to address the climate-change challenge, which is a significant concern for the aviation industry. The Environmental Protection Agency has said that commercial airplanes and large business jets contribute 3 percent of America’s total greenhouse-gas emissions.

Universal Hydrogen aims to create a modular hydrogen delivery system that reduces the need for new infrastructure, cuts down on leakage and promotes safe handling of the fuel.

“We are simultaneously providing a pragmatic, near-term solution for hydrogen infrastructure and delivery, as well as for converting existing passenger aircraft to use this lightweight, safe and true-zero-emissions fuel,” Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen, said in a news release. “Today’s milestones are essential, important steps to putting the industry on a trajectory to meet Paris Agreement obligations.”

Although Universal Hydrogen’s test plane is a Dash 8, the first target for commercial conversions will be the widely used ATR 72-600 regional jet, configured to carry 56 passengers. The current plan calls for the conversion kit to be certified and in service starting in 2025.

Today the company announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with Air New Zealand to develop sustainable fuel solutions for the airline as part of its Mission NextGen Aircraft program.

“We want to be a leader in the rollout of zero-emissions aircraft in New Zealand,” Kiri Hannifin, the airline’s chief sustainability officer, said in a news release. “Having Universal Hydrogen as one of our long-term partners will grow our collective understanding of zero-emissions aircraft technology as it develops and will give them the confidence they are developing a product that’s well-suited for our fleet.”

Air New Zealand has teamed up with multiple partners to advance its zero-emission aircraft program. In December, for example, the airline signed a letter of intent to order up to 23 all-electric aircraft from Arlington, Wash.-based Eviation. Eviation put its Alice prototype airplane through its first flight test in Moses Lake last September.

More from GeekWire:

Tue, 07 Feb 2023 05:45:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/hydrogen-fueled-plane-begins-taxi-194438560.html
Killexams : Dog trainer defends bite training as sport; veterinarian contends practice raises safety concerns

A Mid-Missouri group that trains dogs to bite and attack is defending the club's activities as a recognized canine sport, while the veterinarian who raised the concern is unconvinced it's a safe practice.

Smokin Guns Working Dog Club, which is based in Mid-Missouri, teaches dogs obedience, agility, tricks, dock diving and, the subject of latest controversy, bite work, one of its trainers says.

Steve Matulevich, a trainer with the club, said bite work is a nationally and internationally recognized canine sport. In addition to being a sport, he said, teaching a dog to bite is a part of obedience training.

Meanwhile, veterinarian Ashley French and other staff from Weathered Rock Veterinary Clinic think training dogs to bite is a safety concern, both for the public and the dogs involved.

Matulevich and the club had been using Jefferson City parks for bite work and other training for months before the issue came to a head in late January.

French first complained to the city last November, but nothing happened until the last week of January when the Jefferson City attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the club, effectively trespassing the group from training in the city's parks. The basis of the cease and desist letter was the club's lack of a permit for using the parks to train.

Following the letter and French's testimony, Matulevich has come forward to defend the club's activities.

Matulevich said he and the club aren't upset with the city or the city attorney for sending them a cease and desist letter. He said the club is a nonprofit and not a business, but he understands it needs to get a permit to use the park just like everyone else.

The issue, Matulevich said, was French using what he called irrelevant statistics to get an emotional response from the council.

In her testimony, French said there are 4.8 million dog bites reported annually nationwide and 22 bites were recorded in Jefferson City in 2022.

Matulevich said bite work is a nationally and internationally sanctioned sport and argued that French's statistics don't pertain to bite work. He said the dogs being trained to bite are not the dogs involved in the statistics.

Bite or protection sports take place on local, regional and national levels in and outside of the United States. The Protection Sports Association (PSA) is one organization that hosts these events, along with American Schutzhund events.

Matulevich said his club mostly deals with PSA-recognized sports.

Schutzhund is a dog sport that was originally created in Germany in the 1900s to evaluate breed suitability for German shepherds. The sport lives on in Europe and the United States through various clubs, such as DVG America, the American Working Dog Association, the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde or the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

In a phone call Monday, French said she disagrees with the notion that bite statistics aren't relevant to the training. Even though bite work is a recognized canine sport, she said, it is not in the best interest of dogs.

Dog racing and dog fighting are both recognized sports that many people bet on, she said, but they are still bad for dogs.


Matulevich also took issue with one of the attacks French talked about in her testimony, in which a man was attacked by three loose dogs in his garage. He said those dogs were wild and obviously not trained and were instead acting on natural prey instincts.

"Our goal is to train dogs," Matulevich said.

Bite work is a part of obedience, he said. The dogs his club works with are given equipment orientation, he said, meaning they are trained to bite the equipment, not people. That equipment includes the bite sleeves and bite suits.

"They get oriented on that. 'Hey, this is nothing more than an obedience routine. When I say to do so, you bite the equipment. You're not biting the person, you're biting the equipment.' As you can see in our videos, the dogs are super obedient. We tell them to out, the dog outs – why is that? Through rigorous training," Matulevich said.

Another issue Matulevich had with French's testimony was her claim that batons were used to simulate hitting dogs in some of the club's videos. Matulevich said they were not using batons, rather they were using PVC pipes with strings and cans connected to them.

Additionally, he said they weren't used to simulate hitting the dogs. He said the tool is used to try to distract the dog from its obedience tasks. In competition, he said, points would be taken off if the dog was distracted by the tool.

French said the tool Matulevich describes can be seen in the videos, but there are wooden sticks visible in other videos that she said can only be described as batons. Regardless, French said, whether it's a baton, the tool Matulevich described or someone yelling and brandishing their fist, the function is the same.

She said the goal of these methods is to train the dog not to let go despite distractions. If someone is being bitten or attacked by a dog, she said, they are likely going to yell and try to get the dog off by hitting or kicking. She said this training will teach dogs not to react to these stimuli, instead staying latched on to the person being bitten.

During her testimony, French said she was concerned about the risk the bite training posed to public safety and to the dogs.

But Matulevich said there isn't an increased risk. Aggression, he said, is not a word on the table. He attributed this to the command and control piece of bite work and likened it to barking.

If a dog owner has a dog that barks uncontrollably, he said, they might be asked if they've taught the dog to bark. He said if the answer is no, that's the issue.

"If you teach a bark command and the dog fully understands that, because they have the mental capacity of about a 3-year-old at best, but if you teach them how to do that thing, you can control it," Matulevich said.

He also said the club doesn't start with bite work, and not every dog is cut out for the training. He said the club has a vetting process, so dogs that are defensive in nature or anxious because they weren't socialized as puppies aren't going to get bite work.

He said this is because he doesn't want to put anyone in a situation where liability might be a factor because the owner can't maintain the obedience that comes as a precursor to any bite work. He said the club is not afraid to tell owners that their dogs aren't cut out for the training.

"When you build a house, you start with the foundation, you never start with the roof. Bite work is the roof, we're not even there yet. In order to get to bite work, we need a solid foundation of obedience," Matulevich said.

He referenced another trainer's dog, which was shown in the videos during the council meeting. He said the dog goes to work with the trainer every day at a veterinary clinic and that it wouldn't make sense for the vet to allow the dog in if it was dangerous.

"It's a game of tug of war for them. Maybe that puts it in a better perspective. Otherwise, we could say that every dog that you play tug with is aggressive in nature," Matulevich said.

French said she and the Weathered Rock staff contacted a certified board of animal behaviorists before giving their presentation, and they overwhelmingly thought bite work was damaging for dogs.

Trainer certification

Another issue French raised during the meeting was the lack of standardized certification for dog trainers.

Matulevich said he agreed there should be a standard for certification and said the club is actually planning on working with state legislators to establish a statewide standard.

There is no state or federal standard right now, Matulevich said. To become an effective trainer, he said you have to be an eternal student. He said this requires getting education through seminars and research, as well as compiling real-world experience.

Not every method works for every trainer, he said, and not all methods are effective. He also said you can self-educate on how to be a trainer extensively, but if you don't know how to actually apply that information you're not going to be able to handle a dog.

For that reason, Matulevich said, his club doesn't just train dogs; it trains owners on how to train their dogs. He said there's only so much they can do with a dog in a limited time, so part of their services include teaching owners how to effectively train their dogs.

Brandi Hunter Munden, vice president of public relations and communications for the American Kennel Club (AKC), said the organization does not have an official position on bite work. However, Munden did say the AKC believes bite work should be conducted responsibly and only by professionals with extensive knowledge of bite work.

Janet Oquendo, a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant based in Maryland offered her opinion on the matter. Oquendo is an accredited trainer as per the standards of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and is certified as a behavior consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

Oquendo said she does not do bite work and is not an expert in the area. However, she said, it is her opinion that bite work should never be taught to domestic family dogs. Rather, she felt it should be reserved for true working/police dogs that are solely working with their handlers.

Previously owning four rottweilers herself, Oquendo said she felt her dogs naturally had a tendency for guarding, so she never wanted to further bring out that side of them. Instead, she said, she focused on teaching them to be as friendly and social as possible.

She said common sense and her understanding of dogs lead her to believe teaching a dog to bite teaches them that aggression and biting are okay, but emphasized again that she is not an expert in that area.

Although they are not state or federal programs, the CCPDT and IAABC are organizations that provide avenues for animal trainers to get certified.

The IAABC has certifications for dog, cat, equine, parrot, general animal, shelter dog, shelter cat and general shelter behavior consultants. The organization also offers a higher level of certification to applicants with high enough scores.

To become IAABC certified, trainers and consultants must be compliant with the IAABC Code of Ethics and the least intrusive, minimally aversive (LIMA) guidance, and they must be a member of the IAABC.

The organization also suggests having a minimum of four years and 500 hours of experience plus 400 hours minimum of coursework, mentorships and seminars before applying.

To actually get the certification, applicants have 60 days to receive endorsements, followed by 60 days to complete a several-hour-long written examination.

To gain CCPDT certification in training or behavior consulting, you need hundreds of hours of experience in dog training or behavior consulting, confirmed compliance with their standards of practice, code of ethics and LIMA policy, receive a signed attestation statement from a veterinarian or CCPDT certificant and pass a 200-question, multiple choice exam.

CCPDT certificants must also re-certify every three years.

Training for K9 units at the Boone County Sheriff's Department and Cole County Sheriff's Department is conducted by trainers certified by the Missouri Police Canine Association and North American Police Work Dog Association.

K9s for the Jefferson City Police Department also train at the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

K9s working for law enforcement typically only interact with one handler for their entire career. They train, work and live with their handlers, including those with families at home.

Moving forward

Matulevich said this was the first time someone has had an issue with Smoking Guns Working Dog Club and he wishes French had come to them before taking her complaint to the city.

French said Weathered Rock did reach out to Smokin Guns online, but received "hateful rebuttals." She also said another veterinarian in Mid-Missouri had reached out to her with concerns that this type of training would spread to their area.

"We're not isolated here as far as our clinic representing concern about this behavior. I know they're a very vocal group fighting against this, but there's a lot of veterinarians that think this is not the right thing to do for household-owned dogs," French said.

With the club clearly not welcome in Jefferson City anymore, Matulevich said, the group is now operating out of Versailles and is looking at other areas. He said the club's activities have received the blessing of the Versailles City Council, the mayor and the police chief.

Versailles Chief of Police Chad Hartman said the club had approached him to ensure they weren't breaking any laws. Hartman said the department didn't have any say in the matter, as the club isn't conducting any activity on city property.

Versailles Mayor Jamie Morrow shared a similar sentiment. She said the club checked with the city to make sure no ordinances were being violated, but the activity was taking place on private land so the city had no sway either way.

Matulevich ended his rebuttal by encouraging people to look through the club's website and Facebook page, where he said the club is transparent about its activities. He also offered a final analogy.

"If you want to teach a kid how to ride a bike, what's the first thing you do? You buy the bike and you put training wheels on there. Training wheels is the obedience. It's until they're fully riding the bike on their own that we even introduce bite work," Matulevich said.

Mon, 13 Feb 2023 20:19:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.newstribune.com/news/2023/feb/14/dog-trainer-defends-bite-training-as-sport/
Killexams : With the training to diagnose, test, prescribe and discharge, nurse practitioners could help rescue rural health

It can be tough to access front-line health care outside the cities and suburbs. For the seven million Australians living in rural communities there are significant challenges in accessing health care due to serious workforce shortages, geographic isolation and socioeconomic disadvantage. This results in rural people having poorer quality of life, and long-term poor health outcomes.

Primary health care is the entry point into the health system. It includes care delivered in community settings such as general practice, health centres and allied health practices. It can be delivered via telehealth where face-to-face services are unavailable.

But there is a critical shortage of general practitioners (GPs) in rural areas. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) paints a grim picture of an ageing GP workforce, a declining interest in general practice as a career choice and unequal distribution of GPs between urban and rural areas.

Experts are searching for ways to “fix the GP crisis”, but we can look at the broader picture and ask: “How else might we address the primary health care needs of rural communities?” Highly trained nurses in rural areas could be part of that response – if we support them properly.

Read more: Medicare reform is off to a promising start. Now comes the hard part

What makes a nurse practitioner?

There are more than 2,250 nurse practitioners currently trained, qualified and registered to provide services in Australia. Nurse practitioners are the most senior and experienced clinical nurses in the health care workforce.

Nurse practitioners complete a master’s degree and have a minimum of eight years of consolidated clinical practice and expertise.

But nurse practitioners can’t access Medicare rebates or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme unless they enter into a collaborative arrangement with a GP.

Under this arrangement, GPs effectively “supervise” the work of nurse practitioners. This fails to recognise nurse practitioners’ high levels of clinical expertise and skills, which should allow them autonomy.

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What nurse practitioners can do

In Australia, nurse practitioners are not working to their full capacity or “scope of practice” according to the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners. This scope gives them the legal authority to practice independently and autonomously, unlike registered nurses.

They can assess and diagnose health problems, order and interpret diagnostic tests, create and monitor treatment plans, prescribe medicines and refer patients to other health professionals. Nurse practitioners are qualified to admit and discharge patients from health services, including hospitals.

At the public health level, nurse practitioners can collaborate with other clinicians and health experts to Improve health care access, prevent disease and promote health strategies, improving outcomes for specific patient groups or communities.

The federal government’s Strengthening Medicare Taskforce lists nurse practitioners as primary carers and puts general practice “at the heart of primary care provision”. But the RACGP and Australian Medical Association (AMA) say nurse practitioner care should be GP-led. They contend any change to this arrangement would lead to inferior care, a disruption in continuity of care, fragmentation of the health system, and increased care complexity, inefficiency and cost. We have looked closely at these arguments and found they are not supported by evidence.

There is a shortage of rural GPs in Australia. Shutterstock

Read more: How do you fix general practice? More GPs won't be enough. Here's what to do

What works overseas

Nurse practitioners have been working as lead practitioners internationally for many years, which means there is a body of evidence looking at patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Experts found nurse practitioners provide equivalent and, in some cases, superior patient outcomes compared to doctors across a range of primary, secondary and specialist care settings and for a broad range of patient conditions.

Nurse practitioners were more likely to follow recommended evidence-based guidelines for best practice care and patients were more satisfied with the care they received, reporting communication regarding patient illness was better compared to GP care.

Employing nurse practitioners also resulted in reduced waiting times and costs.

Finally, these studies found while patient consultations were slightly longer for nurse practitioners and the number of return visits slightly higher compared to doctors, there was no difference in the number of prescriptions or diagnostic tests issued, attendance at Emergency Departments, hospital referrals or hospital admissions.

Clearing the way

GP practices are closing in rural communities all over Australia, leaving people without access to vital, cost-effective primary health care services. Yet the majority of nurse practitioners are ready and willing to work in rural areas, with 2019 workforce distribution data clearly showing many nurse practitioners already work in rural, remote and very remote communities.

A new way of working is required, one that includes nurse practitioners working both independently and in collaboration with health care teams in rural communities.

International evidence shows allowing nurse practitioners to lead patient care and work with greater flexibility and freedom will not fragment the primary health care system, it will enhance it.

Sun, 05 Feb 2023 13:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://theconversation.com/with-the-training-to-diagnose-test-prescribe-and-discharge-nurse-practitioners-could-help-rescue-rural-health-199287
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