BALDWIN — A total of 42 men and women who serve as public safety personnel in Lake County attended a Traffic Incident Management course conducted by the Michigan Department of Transportation last Wednesday.

The Lake County Chief's Association hosted the training at the Baldwin Fire Department, with fire departments from Baldwin, Irons, Webber, Lake and Yates townships in attendance. Members of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lake County Sheriff's Reserve Unit, first responders and Life EMS also attended the training.

Marty Walker, vice president for Lake County Chiefs Association, was happy with the turnout from the different public safety agencies.

"I am excited about all the participation," he said. "From the youngest person being 15 years old to the oldest person being over 80, there is quite an age difference in those serving the community in one way or another. It was a great class, and we will be able to use the training we received."

Sheriff Rich Martin felt it was a success.

"Myself, as well other Lake County public safety personnel, feel it is vital we all train together. When we work collectively, we are all on the same page, which increases the efficiency of our response and incident management. I was very pleased with the large number who attended from all over the county. It clearly shows that the public safety community is committed to providing the best services to the citizens of our county."

During the class, people were trained on how to set up safer emergency zones and move traffic faster.

"If everything is set up properly on the scene, everything goes faster and traffic get less backed up," Walker said. "Distracted drivers, people who are in a hurry or those who just don't care are ones we have to watch for when we respond to an emergency scene.

"Most drivers will follow the rules, but you always have that one who disregards the seriousness of the situation. When you are waiting at a scene, pray for patience. If we can get you moving, we will do this as fast as we can. Someone's life has taken a turn for the worst. Give us a moment to get it taken care of. When we shut down the road, it is for a very important reason."