By Michelle Durham

NEWTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — An all-day training session was taking place today at Bucks County Community College, designed to help area social workers, behavioral health professionals, and other disaster response personnel bolster their disaster response training.

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Ron Bernstein, executive director of Foundations Community Partnership, says he partnered with Nova — the Network of Victim Assistance to provide training for first-responders who many have to deal with traumatized victims or eyewitnesses.

“(We’re) getting people prepared to deal with psychological first aid training in disaster type situations,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “whether it’s school shootings or what happened at Oxford Valley Mall this weekend [see related story], or natural disasters — having teams in the community that are prepared to help people get through that.”

Meredith Leach, a social worker in the Bristol Township School District, said she was enjoying every minute of the training:

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“It’s amazing.  Bristol Township had children involved in a bus accident about a month or two ago, and we’re really hoping to take some of these skills back to help them, or in case anything else happens.”

“I deal with students every day, and things do happen every day,” added Susan, a social worker at Neshaminy High School.


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