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2017 Detroit Trainer Meeting

The 2017 MWC Trainer Meeting was held July 24-27, 2017 and attendees were thrilled to arrive to gorgeous weather in Detroit. Traveling on the new QLine Streetcar, we were able to experience Detroit’s continued revival as we observed renovation throughout the city.  Highlights included an amazing cookout with live music featuring Advisory Board member Dr. James Blessman at the New Center Park, watching the Tigers, a tour of the ERSI training facility,  first-hand reports of the water situation in Flint, UAW history visit to the UAW Sitdowners Monuments and Memorial Park, and getting the inside story on the Lac-Magentic Rail Disaster and on-going recovery.

The meeting brought together trainers from all MWC training centers to connect, learn from one another and discuss ways to improve training.  Chip Hughes and Demia Wright from NIEHS joined the group as well as Melissa Genereux (Quebec Public Health Medical Director), Jonathan Rosen (AJ Rosen & Associates) and Ruth Ruttenberg (Ruth Ruttenberg & Associates).  Including University of Cincinnati representatives, there were 38 participants.

After experiencing the hospitality of the newly renovated Wayne State Integrative Biosciences Center, the Steering Committee strolled over to the New Center Park to join trainers and supporters of GDI for a cookout and live music.  MWC Advisory Board member James Blessman and his band played the blues and we enjoyed brats and burgers from the grille.  

Donele Wilkins (GDI) with the band including Advisory Board member Dr. James Blessman (far left)

Donele Wilkins (GDI) with the band including Advisory Board member Dr. James Blessman (far left) 

Live Music at New Center Park; Advisory Board member Dr. James Blessman (far left) P2

Live Music at New Center Park; Advisory Board member Dr. James Blessman (far left)

We also enjoyed watching participants in Slow Roll; each Monday during the Summer, thousands of bicyclist gather and ride through the city.  It was quite a sight!

And walking around Detroit provided views of some of the finest city equipment!

Detroit City Equipment P3

On the first full day of the meeting, we travelled to nearby Plymouth and spent the day at the ERSI facility. Carol set the stage for the meeting by sharing how the MWC got here and where we are heading the next 3 years.  Demia and Ruth discussed the importance of evaluation, including pictures, impacts and using evaluation reports.  After a tour of the facility and lunch, we spent the afternoon in small group workshops designed to introduce new programs and review and improve training materials including: Confined Space Rescue, Confined Space Entry, Preparedness (1-, 2- and 16-hour programs), 40-hour Technician, Reporting Environmental Releases, Compressor Station Fact Sheet, Awareness Facilitator Guide, as well as developing new exercises, using drills as part of refreshers and gathering impacts from repeat participants.

Tour of ERSI facilities P4

Tour of ERSI facilities:  (l to r) Chris Hanson, Donele Wilkins, Paul Berry, Chuck Gluck, Melissa Genereux, Pete Raynor, Robert Wingfield, Kevin Smith, Tim Hilbert, Amira Adawe, Carol Rice

ERSI conveyor system used for machine rescue training P5

ERSI conveyor system used for machine rescue training

ERSI Cribbing area and mannequin used for machine rescue P6

ERSI Cribbing area and mannequin used for machine rescue

ERSI Supplies for Confined Space Rescue training P7

ERSI Supplies for Confined Space Rescue training

Scott Tobey arranged a wonderful evening group event at Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers game.  The team lost, but the MWC had a great time.   Advisory Board member Mark Jones joined the group for the game. 

Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals, Comerica Park, July 25, 2017 P8

Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals, Comerica Park, July 25, 2017

Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals, Comerica Park, July 25, 2017 P9

Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals, Comerica Park, July 25, 2017

GDI has been busy in Flint and we headed there on Wednesday to hear firsthand about the water crisis.  Former MWC Advisory Board member Dr. Pamela Smith, now Chief Public Health Advisor for the City of Flint, spoke with us about the time line of events, current situation and the continuing path to recovery.  

Dr. Pamela Smith, Former MWC Advisory Board member P10

Dr. Pamela Smith, Former MWC Advisory Board member

Water fountains at the Flint Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church with signage advising against drinking the water P11

Water fountains at the Flint Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church with signage advising against drinking the water.

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Water distribution in church parking lot.  Many Flint residents still rely on bottled water for every-day living.  Later that day, it was announced that the distribution would be discontinued at this location.

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Panel discussion in Flint: Donele Wilkins (GDI), Kenneth Green (GDI), Imari Smith (GDI)

Donele Wilkins and Ken Green described GDI training in Flint.  Imari Smith, a summer intern who grew up in Flint also participated in the panel discussion and provided insights into the wide-scale effects of the water contamination across the city.  Her commitment was amazing!

Quebec Public Health Medical Director P14

After a delicious lunch, we heard from Dr. Melissa Genereux (pictured left), Quebec Public Health Medical Director, who has been involved in the Lac Magentic Train Disaster response and recovery.

From the perspective of a Public Health Official, Dr. Genereux shared how the disaster unfolded, details regarding the emergency response, and the community-wide commitment to recovery.   The scenario resonated with our group as it touched so many facets of our work, including preparedness, response, and resiliency.

A representative from each training program gave a brief overview of the Resiliency Project that is being developed to meet local needs at his/her center.

Pam Dixon presents the Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center project to Develop partnerships to facilitate response to flood hazards and cleanup P15

Pam Dixon presents the Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center project to Develop partnerships to facilitate response to flood hazards and cleanup.

Other plans are:

Illinois: Connecting companies with local emergency response personnel/groups

EMI (Indiana): Enhancing community preparedness in partnership with Indiana Citizen Science

Minnesota: Increasing citizen knowledge of oil rail transportation

ERSI (Michigan):  Facilitate ERT member and community joint response to weather events

Tennessee: Develop a post-storm response program for public work, utility, first responder, commercial/industrial employers

YouthBuild (Kentucky): Community Disaster Preparedness in partnership with Metro United Way

LTC (Wisconsin): Increasing rural preparedness

GDI (Michigan):  Increasing access to water test kits in Flint MI for improved decision-making

CEA (Michigan): Filling gaps in preparedness in Greater Detroit

Fisk U (Tennessee): Planning to prepare for adverse effects of climate change in Metropolitan          Nashville/Davidson County 

TAT (North Dakota): Increasing preparedness for oil development hazards through drills

While in Flint we also were able to visit the UAW Sitdown Strikers Memorial Park which commemorates the 44-day strike of 1936-1937.  This strike inside the Flint GM plant legitimized the newly formed UAW and workers received a 5% increase in pay and won the workers the right to talk during lunch!

UAW Sitdown Strikers Memorial Park P16

UAW Sitdown Strikers Memorial Park P17

UAW Sitdown Strikers Memorial Park P18

At the Memorial, Advisory Board member Luis Vazquez offered several labor songs as attendees read the story boards and viewed the monuments.  We were very pleased that Luis could join the entire Trainer Meeting. 

The Memorial also honors veterans.

UAW Sitdown Strikers Memorial Park P19

Wrap up in Detroit

On the final morning we broke into groups to discuss topics including resiliency project outcome measures (separately for those focused on climate led by Jonathan Rosen and those on focused on preparedness led by Ruth Ruttenberg), modular refresher program, evaluation forms/impacts, and exam items for emergency response programs.

And now we are back to training and following up on all the suggestions from the Trainer Meeting.  Thanks to all the trainers who contributed their expertise.


2015 Detroit Trainer Meeting

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Detroit Tigers game; On left: Bill Toscano, University of Minnesota

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View across Detroit River from Milliken State Park

The 2015 MWC Trainer Meeting was held in Detroit July 19-22, 2015.  It was great seeing the revival of Detroit taking place.  Signs of growth were everywhere, with plenty of new construction and a vibrant night life around Midtown. MWC members particularly enjoyed seeing the Tigers win, exploring Milliken State Park, visiting Greektown, touring the FORD Michigan Assembly Plant, eating at The Grille Midtown and seeing the community garden behind the hotel. The meeting brought together trainers from all 13 MWC training centers to connect, learn from one another and problem-solve.  Chip Hughes and Demia Wright from NIEHS joined the group.  With University of Cincinnati representatives, the participant list totaled 33.

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Amira Adawe, University of Minnesota and Eula Bingham, University of Cincinnati

 

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Mrs. and Mr. Lonnie Jones II, Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center, Terri Oakley, Youthbuild Louisville, Cliff Whitman, The Three Affiliated Tribes, Symantha Aydt and Dorval Norwood, University of Illinois

Carol shared the roots of the Worker Training Program in a strong Midwest tradition of worker training.  The MWC is dedicated to providing model programs of uniform content and delivery across centers.  This allows portability of training for the participant and facilitates the recognition locally of each training center as a source for the high quality programming. The evaluation information collected over the years allowed development of innovative work for 2015-2020 including:

  • Support development of resiliency in the community and at work sites
  • Investigate various models for site worker and emergency response refresher training
  • Modularized
  • Spaced sessions
  • Apply flipped learning (drills or exercises)—at the work site

The new work is based on the training provided but we are more than a training provider!  The MWC will grow model programs by improving training.  Evaluation feedback will allow comparison of modules selected for a specific workplace, shorter and more frequent refreshers segments, and pre-work formats.   Ruth Ruttenberg and Scott Tobey shared some pilot work using the format of plant-based drills prior to training.

Chip provided the NIEHS perspective and introduced Demia Wright, the new MWC liaison at NIEHS. Eula Bingham reminded us all of the need for worker training and the role that Chip has played over the years at NIEHS and previously in the brown lung work.

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Chip Hughes, NIEHS, Chris Hanson, University of Illinois

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Demia Wright (foreground), NIEHS, Eula Bingham University of Cincinnati, Ben Nickel, Lakeshore Technical College

We practiced flipped learning ourselves.  Prior to the meeting, each participant was provided draft or new materials for review and comments to be completed before arriving in Detroit. Working in small groups, trainers reviewed, discussed and improved materials covering nearly 30 different topics in the following areas:   

  • Emergency Response Refresher modules
  • Site Worker Refresher modules
  • Full programs
  • Exercises for use in several programs

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Citizen Science group: Vit Sbrocca, Citizens Environment Alliance, Donele Wilkins, Green Door Initiative, Denise Kennedy, Green Door Initiative, Bill Toscano, University of Minnesota, Robert Wingfield, Fisk University


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PPE program group: Lonnie Jones II, Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center, John Hanson, Lakeshore Technical College, Charles Gluck, University of Tennessee, Steve Burden, University of of Illinois, Cliff Whitman, The Three Affiliated Tribes, Bill Toscano, University of Minnesota

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Value of training group: Eula Bingham, University of Cincinnati, Lois Harrison, University of Minnesota, Terri, Oakley, Youthbuild Louisville, Symantha Aydt, University of Illinois, Tim Hilbert, University of Cincinnati

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Monitoring program group: Dorval Norwood, University of Illinois, Wayne Whiting, Lakeshore Technical College, Dave Tobin, Michigan State University, Bob Skoglund, University of Minnesota, Chris Hanson, University of Illinois, Scott Johnson, Environmental Management Institute

On the final day, small group facilitators summarized what had transpired in their session so the whole group could become familiar with all the new material and contribute if desired.  Revision is now underway!

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Stephen Burden, University of Illinois, Scott Johnson, Environmental Management Institute, Terri Oakley, Youthbuild Louisville, Cliff Whitman, The Three Affiliated Tribes, Valetta Watson and Robert Wingfield, Fisk University


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Wayne Whiting and Ben Nickel, Lakeshore Technical College, Chip Hughes, NIEHS, Symantha Aydt, University of Illinois, Bob Skoglund, University of Minnesota

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Scott Tobey (facilitator, SCBA), Michigan State University

A highlight of our time in Detroit was the two field trips.  We travelled to Milliken State Park, which is a former Brownfield site that has been reclaimed and is now a park/wetland.  Many people were utilizing the space to exercise, play, or sightseeing.  While there, Citizens Environment Alliance led us in exercises related to community preparedness, citizen science, and “green” living.   We enjoyed the scenery, as well as learning firsthand about Citizens Environment Alliance programs and the Milliken project.


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Milliken State Park


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Milliken State Park

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Milliken State Park

We also toured parts of the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant.   We heard from plant management about the plant history, environmental practices, and safety guidelines.  We then went on a walking tour of assembly and paint areas of the huge facility.  Especially interesting aspects of the tour included the paint robots, the emergency response equipment, and watching the installation of an electric motor into a Focus.


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"Ford Michigan Assembly Plant" by Dwight Burdette. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

2013 Trainer Meeting - New Town, ND Fracking

Background
Fracking is a rapidly developing industry in the states served by the Midwest Consortium and a major employer around the New Town ND area, where Cliff Whitman of the Three Affiliated Tribes directs Consortium training efforts in awareness and emergency planning.  Cliff invited trainers from the Consortium to come to New Town; Jessica Numkena arranged visits with Jeremy Olson, health and safety advisor for Enerplus Resources and with economic development officials Shawn Wenko and Rachel Sawicki in Williston.

Continue reading the report here (PDF)

Pictures from Trainer Meeting
Dinner at TAT Office
Bill Bleich and Kevin McAndrew, University of Illinois

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Dinner at TAT Office 
Frank Butler, Citizens Environmental Alliance; Cliff Whitman and Jessica Numkena, Three Affiliated Tribes;

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Prairie

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New Town History 1
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New Town History 2
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New Town History 3
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Old Sanish - now under water
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New Town - the first bridge
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Four Bears Bridge - the new bridge
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Four Bears Bridge
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Reference of where to find the Shale Oil Map
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Shale Oil Map Reference II
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Lake Sakakawea
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Skunk Bay Lake Resort (Frank Butler, Eula Bingham, Bill Bleich, and Kevin McAndrews)
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The view from Lake Sakakawea
Russell Thomas, Three Affiliated Tribes Fish and Game; David Abrams, University of Minnesota; Linda Alerding and Dennis Alerding, University of Cincinnati; Beaufort Joe, Three Affiliated Tribes Fish and Game
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On the Lake
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Scenery around New Town from the Lake
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View from the Lake with Wells on the Ridge
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Scenery around New Town from the Lake
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View from the Lake with Wells on the Ridge
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Cattle at the lake (closer look)
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Lake Bluff showing a Well
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One of the many Oil Rigs along the shoreline of Lake Sakakawea
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Another view from the Lake
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Further out on the lake
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Further out on the lake
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Storage Tanks near Williston
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New Town Rail Yard
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New Town Rail Yard - closer view
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New Town Rail yard - even closer view
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Rail traffic near New Town
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Rail traffic near New Town
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New Town Man Camp
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Rail Cars Near New Town - Close up
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Rail Cars near storage tanks
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New Town truck staging
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Flaring
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Pumping
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On-site 
David Abrams, University of Minnesota
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On-site 
Linda Alerding, University of Cincinnati; Jessica Numkena, Three Affiliated Tribes
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On-site 
Harley Pace, Field Inspector; Tom Eagle, Field Inspector, Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Energy Division;
David Abrams, University of Minnesota; Linda Alerding, University of Cincinnati; Jessica Numkena, Three Affiliated Tribes
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Production Well
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Maintenance Rig
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Maintenance Rig - up close
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Light on the Prairie
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Man camp on the way to Williston
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Man camp, Williston
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Storage Tanks near Williston
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Storage Tanks near Williston
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Oil Fields driving to Williston
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Oil Fields driving to Williston
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Fracking Rig and Flare
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Fracking Rig
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Williston
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Halliburton, Williston
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Halliburton Yard
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Haliburton
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Fracking yard
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Halliburton
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Halliburton
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Material storage
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Material storage
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Material (unknown content) transfer
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Material storage
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Fracking mud
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Fracking Supplies
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