Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cooperative Training on Deaf Culture and Maryland School for the Deaf protocol

The Frederick Police Department is proud to announce the continued partnership between our agency and the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD). In our continued efforts to enhance the services we provide to all members of the community, we have partnered with MSD students and staff to provide training to our officers and members of Frederick County Fire and Rescue. This training consists of deaf awareness and protocol for responding to calls for service on MSD's campus.

MSD staff provides an overview of deaf culture followed by a basic sign language class led by student Michael Tota. Michael leads a practical exercise on sign language, using key words and phrases needed to communicate with students and staff at MSD and members of the deaf community during times of crisis. These phrases include explanation of how to ask personal identification and assessment questions to help fire and rescue personnel and police officers assist the individual and notify parents or responsible parties. Acquiring a better understanding of the deaf community's culture, language, and customs will benefit first responders participating in this training.

This is the first of many future cooperative training dates that will allow our police officers and fire and rescue personnel to share in dissemination of knowledge and protocol. This type of cross discipline training is essential to enhance the working relationship between the two first responders of Frederick City. Although this training is extremely beneficial to the city and county first responders, students at MSD also benefit from the interaction with and exposure to officers and fire and rescue personnel patrolling their city and responding when they have a need for help.

The instructors and role playing personnel include MSD students from the Frederick campus and staff members from both the Frederick and Columbia campuses. These dedicated members have volunteered their time and energy to make our city and community a better place. We would like to thank them, the school Superintendent James Tucker, and the Deputy Superintendent Chad Baker for their continued support of our efforts to better serve MSD and members of Frederick's Deaf community.

Should the press wish to witness and obtain photos or media footage of the training, please contact Lt. Clark Pennington at 301.600.3935. A media day is set for February 24, 2009. Please see below for times:


Classroom Instruction Staff 3:30-4:30pm

Sign Language Michael Tota 4:30-6 pm

Roll Play Exercise MSD Students 6-9 pm

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