Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

October 24, 2007

For More Information: Brenda Rayner (901) 333-4247


Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Department of Continuing Education is serving as an educational partner with Tri-State Professional Emergency and Environmental Organizations to present the 2007 Partners in Preparedness Conference on November 13 and 14 at the Hollywood Casino Conference Center in Tunica, MS. The conference has been developed to encompass all aspects of emergency and environmental preparedness. This two-day event hosts four tracks of Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Response, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning, and Industrial and Hospital Safety Standards. The conference was designed to complement a company’s needs for regulatory compliance and preparedness planning.

“The purpose of this conference is to unite the resources of the Tri-State area to partner in preparedness for emergency and environmental challenges resulting from natural and/or man-made catastrophic events,” stated Karen Birkenstock, executive vice president for 5R Processors, LTD and chair for the Memphis and Shelby County Local Emergency Planning Committee. She added, “The groups coordinating this conference include the Mid-South Chapter of Certified Hazardous Material Managers; Local Emergency Planning Committees from Crittenden, DeSoto, Tunica and Memphis and Shelby County; the Memphis or Mid-South American Society of Safety Engineers; the American Industrial Hygienist Association; the Mid-South Business Contingency Planners and the Memphis and Shelby County Hospital Council. This is the first time these organizations have joined forces to sponsor a conference of this magnitude. The goal will be to continue the effort annually and grow it, reaching deeper into the states to further our goal of preparedness.”

“We are indeed excited and honored to be working with such distinguished groups and organizations. Southwest, by its involvement in this conference fulfills its mission to supply informational and educational services to the greater Mid-South community,” stated Tim Davis assistant director for Continuing Education.

Along with the various lectures and training opportunities, there will be two keynote speakers; the first addressing the collapse of the Minnesota Bridge and its effect on the community, and the second addressing the new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism regulations from the Department of Homeland Security. The two-day conference will be full with an emergency and environmental culture conducive for networking opportunities. Exhibitions will be on display during the day on Tuesday, November 13 and Wednesday, November 14. A reception with live music is planned for Tuesday night.

Erik Tyge, president for the local Certified Hazardous Materials Mangers chapter, stated, “During the first day of the 2005 Emergency Preparedness Conference here in Memphis, Katrina struck, and practically everyone’s beeper or cell phone went off and by mid morning most were in transit to the Gulf Coast. That event, Hurricane Katrina, underscores the importance and absolute need for this type of training conference.”

“As Erik stated, in 2005 and continuing through today, Katrina changed the entire landscape for emergency management. I believe it is a common goal and a service duty we have in common with these organizations and companies connected with this conference. Preparedness, response and recovery are all integral parts of serving our community in the most adverse and challenging of circumstances,” added Davis.

“Although all tracks of the conference training are valuable, the one I am most interested in is the Business Continuity Track," stated Dr. Ralph Chumbley, executive director for Continuing Education.

For more information and course descriptions, please visit and click on the link for the 2007 First Annual Partners in Preparedness Conference.