County, Municipal Agencies Join for Training

Representatives from multiple agencies joined together recently for the incident management training class.
Representatives from multiple agencies joined together recently for the incident management training class.

If and when another large-scale emergency occurs in Columbus, local officials hope they’ll be better equipped to work together.

Emergency responders from the county and multiple municipal agencies have been undergoing training for the past two weeks on incident managing and the use of a specialized map program. It was the second time this year that the training has been made available to local agencies.

Both skillsets will improve cooperation between law enforcement and emergency services. The classes were organized by Columbus County Emergency Services. Among those attending were representatives from Whiteville, Chadbourn, Kake Waccamaw, and the sheriff’s office.

The second class has been focusing on the use of a map program called SARTOPO, which allows responders to be on the same page regardless of their home agency. 

Braldye Kinlaw explained some of the features of the SARTOPO system. (submitted)
Bradley Kinlaw explains some of the features of the SARTOPO map system. (submitted)

Bradley Kinlaw, former Emergency Management director for Bladen County, is now on staff with Krucial Solutions, which supports the program. SARTOPO combines detailed topographic maps with features and history such as wildfire and weather patterns, structures, and other information that can be used by first responders.

The first class was held at Southeastern Community College, while the City of Whiteville hosted the second class.

Assisting the public in any emergency is the end goal for the training, Deputy Director David Ransom said.

“This training will be used to better assist the citizens of Columbus County,” Ransom said. “The training will further our knowledge and skills as we partner with municipalities as well as our fire/EMS agencies, municipal law enforcement and the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office. 

“These trainings and partnerships will help us meet our vision and mission for Emergency Services.”

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Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at