GRANDVIEW PLAZA — Barton Community College’s Grandview Plaza campus in Geary County was the site of national “Train the Trainer” sessions. The satellite campus focuses primarily on education in the realms of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hazardous materials management and emergency management.
The sessions held May 16-18 were refresher courses targeted at individuals responsible for training others within their own organization. Each participant had previously worked through a two-week training course, but trainers are required to attend the refresher courses every two years.
Dean of Technical Education Bill Nash said it’s a big step for Barton Community College to be chosen to host one of the sessions, which are held three times per year at various locations across the country.
“Prior to a couple of years ago, we didn’t have the facilities for the training, and we didn’t have a major airport nearby,” Nash said. “We’ve been working for 10 years to get one of these sessions here.”
The program is put together by the Community and College Consortium of Health and Safety Training (CCCHST), which is administered by the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE). CCCHST Program Manager Doug Feil said choosing Barton was a great fit.
“Barton has grown right in parallel with this grant program,” he said. “Barton is now one of the larger producers of training out of the 121 participating institutions and has a high-quality collection of instructors who are well-qualified and experienced in the health and safety area.”
Barton’s HazMat and OSHA training is also utilized by the military on Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth, which was another factor in the decision to bring the program to Barton.
“It lets other colleges across the country see Barton’s unique relationship with the military, which they could potentially duplicate locally,” Feil added.
He said Nash’s role as the vice chair of PETE has been pivotal in the organization’s growth and success. “Barton’s staff are leaders with both PETE and the CCCHST.”
Kelly Gaer of the Kansas Department of Transportation was one of Barton’s first graduates of the Train the Trainer program in 2000. He has since attended the refresher courses at a handful of institutions across the country, but was looking forward to Barton’s take on the training.
“It’s more hands-on,” he said of the realistic scenarios posed by Barton’s staff. “It’s more of just a lecture at other institutions. It’s easier to retain the information and be more prepared when you get to use the actual equipment.”