Local Responder Attends Homeland Security Training

Emergency Responder Janelle Aguilera Ringer, from Loma Linda University Health, 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.

Aguilera Ringer was one of only 14 participants who completed training, leading the disaster drill as the public information officer (PIO), which is one of her current roles at Loma Linda University Health. “The training pushes you to think outside the box,” she said. “The experience prepared me to serve San Bernardino County in times of crisis by providing effective communications to my community.”

San Bernardino is the largest county in the lower 48 of the United States, making it larger than Switzerland. In such a large area, disasters can be common. In fact, the largest earthquakes in the 1990s in California started in San Bernardino. Public information is a vital function in disaster operations that contributes greatly to saving lives and protecting property. The CDP training provided PIOs from a variety of fields with the opportunity to learn and practice the tasks of gathering, verifying, coordinating and disseminating public information.

The CDP also 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 40 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 healthcare and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.

A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP’s Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological (COBRA) Training Facility. 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.

Information about CDP training programs can be found at http://cdp.dhs.gov. Visit the “News & Media” tab at the top of the site to download images, share CDP training articles, and find out what others are saying about CDP training. For more information about the CDP, contact the CDP External Affairs Office, at (256) 847- 2212/2316 or e-mail pao@cdpemail.dhs.gov.

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