Editor’s note: As a Leadership Development Academy alum (Class of 2013-14), Linda Ross is passionate about the mission of the organization and enjoys working as Executive Director/Program Facilitator. Wisdom acquired at LDA empowers her to continue her success in business. She is excited to work with others to obtain their leadership goals.
What do public speaking, a leadership game, an organization that helps clients with disabilities, an FBI agent, active shooter training and emergency medical procedures have in common? The Leadership Development Academy’s training for participants at the March session, held at KANDU Industries and Mercyhealth in Janesville, of course.
Our day started with some great speeches from Leadership Development Academy (LDA) participants. The dreaded speeches! Little did they know, they have been preparing all year for this day. Each month, participants are presenting information about their team projects. Through these presentations, they have the opportunity to be in front of others. We have been breaking them in slowly.
The speeches were heartfelt and informative. Some spoke about who they admire. Others about the most valuable thing they have learned in LDA. All of them spoke about people. People they admire. Some who are still with us and some who are not.
Several shared about Rock County’s greatest asset. Guess what it is…people. We are the greatest asset. The class is like family now. They look out for one another and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. The speeches were moving; each and every one of them.
Next up…the Leadership Game. Challenging and sometimes frustrating, the Leadership Game invites participants to rely on their teammates for answers. This game throws participants into scenarios they need to come up with solutions for. Sometimes there is no right answers, just like in real life.
Leadership Development Academy board members, Lori Stottler from the City of Beloit, Joe Jimenez from KANDU Industries, and AmyJo Verbeten from SSM Health, set the bar high for the class. Presenting to the board, each team was able to gain points during the competition when they answered questions correctly. They also gained several extra points when everyone presented. The depth of understanding the class has always amazes me.
Not to be missed is the support from participants to the other project teams. One team is collecting diapers to “Stuff a Bus” and donate them to Caritas. Participants brought a cart full of diapers to support the team.
At KANDU, We Kan Do! Gary Bersell, Executive Director of KANDU Industries, gives a great message and tour. KANDU provides diverse opportunities for persons with disabilities or disadvantages, to have the opportunity to pursue greater independence and meet their full potential. For the clients, it is a workplace, social life, recreation and fun. Best Events is part of KANDU and they offer full service catering and event production. They can make anyplace look amazing.
We also had the privilege to have lunch with the clients. John sat at our table. He has worked at KANDU for 24 years and loves it there. A huge Packer fan, he has a smile on his face and is friendly to everyone he meets. Thanks for hosting and sharing the love with us, KANDU!
Workplace Violence and Active Shooter Awareness and Preparation was empowering! GB Jones, an FBI agent, who is married to one of the class participants, shared his story with the class. Agent Jones has been involved in four active shooter events in his career, so he knows what he is talking about when he presents. Giving the class tools and resources to identify “at risk” individuals before a problem happens was empowering. There are pre-attack indicators, such as a personal grievance; contextually inappropriate acquisition of multiple weapons and interest in explosives; an intense fascination with previous mass attacks; and a personal loss prior to the event, such as a death, divorce or loss of a job.
It was interesting to learn that typically active shooters have no prior history of mental illness. Everyone workplace needs to have an emergency operations plan in place. The Run, Hide, Fight video is a good example of a company who took time preparing for an emergency. Get out quickly if you can. If not, hide. If you have to, fight for your life. Agent Jones shared with us for an hour and made the class truly think about what they would do in case of an emergency.
Dr. Christopher Wistrom is the Associate EMS Medical Director and a staff physician on MD-1, an emergency response vehicle. MD-1 brings hospital-level care directly to the scene of a trauma or medical emergency. Dr. Wistrom is engaging, funny and direct. He cares about the community and he understands that training can make a difference between life and death. He wants to empower people and teach them how to deal with situations from the inside, so if there is an emergency and first responders can’t get in, others can provide the care that is needed. The only way to increase survivability is to increase preparedness.
Dr. Wistrom would like to see every young person in the classroom, grades 7 and up, be prepared in case of emergency. Mercyhealth has a program called “Casualty Care in the Classroom” to take care of this. They also have a program called, “Casualty Care in the Workplace”. Give Mercyhealth a call and they can set you up for the training.
Did you know that there is a 25,000 square-foot tactical EMS Training Center in Janesville? Mercyhealth provides this facility for law enforcement and EMS training. There is nothing like it in the region. LDA participants were able to put on tactical vests, grab training weapons and respond like a Rescue Task Force.
Led by Gene Wright, Fire Chief for the Town of Beloit, who is a LDA participant this year, the class gained a better understanding of what it would be like to respond to an active shooter incident. Chief Wright lead the class into an office setting and explained what to expect. Mannequins lying on the floor, bleeding and crying out in pain made the scenario seem real.
Bryan Hasse, Police Officer for the Town of Beloit, also a LDA participant, taught the class how to pack a wound that is bleeding. Some were squeamish, but all stepped up to the plate and packed the wound.
LeAnn Jones, Police Officer for the Town of Beloit, also a LDA participant, taught the class how to properly apply a tourniquet and what to look for to use in a room if you don’t have the proper supplies. We are so thankful to our first responders and their knowledge.
As if our day hadn’t been full enough, we toured the training facility with it’s state of the art simulation labs. They have it all…church, office, ER, classroom, boardroom, theater, night club, locker rooms and an apartment. The simulation labs have sounds and realistic backgrounds to make you feel like you are really in that environment. Well done, Mercyhealth, well done!
What a day! Public speaking, a leadership game, an organization that helps clients with disabilities, an FBI agent, active shooter training and emergency medical procedures. Everyone was exhausted, but feeling empowered. We live in a great community and are thankful for the people who share it with us.