- Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - The city of Nashua, New Hampshire, is participating in a national program to better prepare citizens with life-saving skills before first responders arrive, spurred by an accident that happened at the home of the director of emergency management.

Planning was accelerated after a vehicle veered off a road and struck the home of Justin Kates in January. It caused damage and ruptured a gas line. Kates and his wife immediately left the home, called 911 and checked for injuries.

“Handling emergencies is my job, but when it’s happening to you it gives you a whole new perspective,” Kates said. “I saw this program as a way to empower citizens to take action, like I did at my house, until help arrives.”

The program, “Until Help Arrives,” is based on a curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Included is a three-hour training session that includes classroom instruction, hands-on activities and online training. The training covers how citizens can effectively communicate with 911 operators, stay safe in a dangerous situation, stop life-threatening bleeding, position the injured and provide emotional support.

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