Rhode Island Training Draws Big Numbers Before Fire Anniversary

February 13, 2013

About 100 people have signed up for a free crowd safety training session being offered by the state ahead of the 10th anniversary of a deadly nightclub fire in West Warwick, around 10 times the number who usually attend such a training, the state Department of Health said Monday.

The 4-hour session is planned for Feb. 18, two days before the anniversary of the fire that killed 100 people. Fire codes enacted after the blaze require nightclubs and other places where 50 or more people could gather to employ a trained and licensed crowd manager.

The state fire marshal usually holds such trainings every two months, but the health department decided to get involved with the session before the anniversary to spur more people to take the training, department spokesman Peter Hanney said.

“Right after something bad happens, everyone is in compliance,” he said. “People get complacent after a while. We’re trying to bring that to the forefront again.”

The training is geared to people who manage nightclubs and other places of assembly, Hanney said. Those who participate in the session and successfully complete a test will receive a crowd manager license valid for 3 years.

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