posted Apr 17, 2012, 12:45 PM by Brian Melcer

Anniston, Ala- The week of April 2nd to April 6th, Emergency Responders from Lawrence County recently completed Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents 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.

The week long training consisted of classroom lectures followed by hands-on exercises testing the participant’s ability to manage multiple Mass Casualty Incidents utilizing the Incident Command System. Participants were put to the test with a number of incidents taking place simultaneously, with staff from FEMA providing the scenarios and guidance throughout the process.

Participants were assigned to different aspects of emergency management including Hospital, Pre-Hospital, Public Health, and Facilities and Security. Each sector initiated an Incident Command Structure to manage the incidents as they occurred pertaining to their individual department, then, ultimately collaborated as a group in the overall Incident Command System. Information sharing and critical thinking were essential for success.

There were 57 total class participants, 44 from Region 13 in southwestern Pennsylvania. The 9 representatives from Lawrence County were: Barbara Bernardi and Donna Cochran from Jameson Hospital; Luke DeRosa from Noga Ambulance Service; David DiDesiderio, from the Lawrence County Department of Public Safety EOC Staff and Noga Ambulance Service; Dr. Greg Hellier from the Lawrence County Department of Public Safety EOC Staff, Emergency Medical Director and Jameson Hospital; Warren Hosack, Medevac Ambulance Service; Diane Mackrell, The Ellwood City Hospital; Tina Marshall, Lawrence County Department of Public Safety; and Michele Miller from the Lawrence County Department of Public Safety EOC Staff and Jameson Hospital.

"The training will not only benefit Lawrence County, but all 13 counties in our region," says Tina Marshall. "We are able to offer a unified response to a large incident in any county in our region. In turn, those counties will be available to offer assistance in Lawrence County."

Counties included in Region 13 are: Lawrence, Mercer, Beaver, Butler, Allegheny, Armstrong, Washington, Westmoreland, Indiana, Greene, Fayette, Somerset and Cambria.

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 included 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 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 programs 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://dcp.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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FEMA’s mission is to support its citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards

Contact: David DiDesiderio, Deputy Public Information Officer

Day Phone: (724) 652-6228 ext. 128