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OPVFD Moves to Virtual Trainings Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Friday, May 1, 2020

The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department has not let the COVID-19 Pandemic stop them from continuing to improve their skills and ensure their readiness for future emergencies. Starting April 7th, under the direction of Fire Chief Steve Grunewald and Career FF/Paramedic Chris Rathel (training officer), all regularly scheduled meetings and drills were moved to a virtual environment using cloud meeting software as well as a private online site serving as a training resource repository. So far the department has seen equal, if not, better participation numbers in meetings and drills since transitioning online.
While the live virtual meetings and drills fill the void of not being able to meet in person, the department has begun to embrace the benefits of eLearning. From developing original video content to sharing resources from across the industry as well as developing interactive content to facilitate trainings on pre-planning, tactics and more. Additionally, this will be the perfect time to complete annual required trainings such as blood borne pathogens and reviewing departmental SOPs and medical protocols.
While this transition to eLearning and cloud meetings was born out of a temporary necessity, the department plans to add these tools to their training repertoire from here on out. 
The OPVFD recognizes that while COVID-19 has put a halt to life as most have known it, emergencies will continue to happen and they will be ready, waiting, and most importantly prepared to answer the call whenever the community needs them next!

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