The WV LAST network was initiated after the Line of Duty Death (LODD) of Firefighter Donnie Adkins in March of this year and at the request of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. A few weeks after Donnie’s death Mike Jarrett, Mark Strickland, Teri Beasley and Kenny Cline discussed how the NFFF model could be used and modified to meet the needs of our state and for not only firefighters, but all LODD losses within the Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services communities in our state. The NFFF model uses a Local Assistance State Team (LAST) concept that essentially creates a team within a state that can assist on a local level to help organizations and survivors manage and recover from a LODD. We believe that in West Virginia, we are one large public safety family that suffers locally and individually but together when there is a loss and tend to utilize similar processes, people and resources. We believe in our state a network and not necessarily a team will be more efficient.
Attached is an informative flyer that shows what a network such as this can do in the form of communications, resource availability and networking. You and your colleagues have long been active and very involved when tragedy strikes and this network is only intended to support you through that process and likewise support those who will be going through the recovery progression. It is our hopes that this network will serve to identify, network and share the best practices and resources of our state on the local level when they are needed the most.
We have been able to obtain a one day training session conducted by the National Fallen Fighter Foundation but funded by the US Department of Justice to share the LAST concept and provide specific information on the management and recovery of Line of Duty Deaths. Although the NFFF will be presenting the concept, the DOJ will be presenting material and information as well. The DOJ supports this endeavor as a way to assist with Line of Duty Deaths in all three disciplines, fire EMS and Law Enforcement. This one day session is intended for all three disciplines of public safety.
The venue provided by the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority will also allow us to have training on and a better understanding of the WV death benefit that was recently enacted. This opportunity will also allow those from around the state and representing various agencies and disciplines to further discuss and develop this WV LAST Network.
We would like to ask that you consider joining us on December 13, 2010 in the KCEAA Auditorium at 601 Brooks Street, Charleston WV. Your participation and that of your colleges will be a great benefit to all involved. Attached are a registration form and our contact information.
We would also like to respectfully ask for your support by forwarding this information to those whom you feel are key leaders statewide within your discipline and/or those who you have worked with before while managing deaths in your field. Your support is essential to developing this network for not if but when tragedy strikes again.
If you would like to discuss this further or gain more information on this concept or this training please do not hesitate to contact any of us by phone or e-mail.
Thank you for your time, efforts and resolve.
Teri Beasley (304)389-9992
Mark Strickland (304)545-9960
Mike Jarrett (304)345-2312
Kenny Cline (304)483-2615