Emergency responders Walter Marlin (manager of plant operations and safety officer) and Heidi Shores (quality and regulatory services assistant) from North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport recently completed training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Ala. The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation.
“We were able to meet with 54 other individuals in the health-care industry from across the nation and compare strategies for large and small hospitals to prepare for emergency and disaster coordination to better serve our communities,” Marlin said. “With this training, North Texas Community Hospital will be better prepared to serve the citizens of Wise County.”
Since the conference, Shores is putting her training to work by organizing and refining the hospital’s emergency program. She said should a disaster happen in Bridgeport or Wise County it will take everyone working together.
The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers and other government officials from state, local and tribal governments. The CDP offers more than 50 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state, local and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency.
Resident training at the CDP includes health-care and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training health-care professionals in disaster preparedness and response.
A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP’s Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility (COBRA). The COBRA is the nation’s only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment using chemical agents. The advanced hands-on training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to and recover from real-world incidents involving acts of terrorism and other hazardous materials.
Responders participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events.