Partners host Dallas County First Responder Training

Published 5:51 am Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Dallas County First Responder Training event was held Tuesday at the George P. Evans Building.

Officers from the Selma Police Department, Selma Fire Department, and retired military veterans attended the event, for which the City of Selma partnered with the Tuscaloosa  Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and Victory Addiction Recovery Center.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. delivered the welcome address and said he appreciated the veterans, both current and retired, for their military service.

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Perkins also expressed appreciation for the Selma Police Department and Selma Fire Department.“I thank the Veterans Affairs for their understanding and support,” Perkins said. “I thank the military veterans for serving our country. I thank the First Responders, the Selma Police and Selma Fire Departments.”

Licensed Professional Counselor Dr. Belinda Kock discussed the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “I say PTS and I leave out the word disorder because we’re not sick,” Kock said.” PTSD happens to many of us, but we’re not aware.”

Lawanda VanHorn, who coordinated the event, thanked Dr. Denisha Hendricks for helping to bring the training to the Queen City.

Other people addressed participants were Licensed Nurse Practioner Dana Boykin, Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center Program Manager LaShaundra Lark-Darien (Living Your Best Life) and Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center Suicide Program Manager Rick Beatty.

Air Force Veteran John Davis gave a veteran’s testimony, sharing how the VA helped save his life.

Lydia Chatmon, Director of Programs for the Selma Center for Nonviolence, served as Master of Ceremonies. Dallas County Circuit Clerk Lynnethia Bennett sang the national anthem.

The Gamma Alpha Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., Victory Addiction Recovery Center and  U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs all had tents set up at the event.