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This image is of an individual wearing a hazardous materials suit in an environmental cleanup situation.

Federal-sponsored training is available through a variety of training centers.  A few of the largest national training centers are highlighted in this section.  The National Training and Education Division (NTED) website hosts training catalogs for both NTED and other federal-sponsored courses.

Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP)

The CDP, located in Anniston, Alabama, is a national all-hazards training center for the National Preparedness Directorate. Training, transportation, lodging, and meals are provided at no cost for state, local, and tribal responders from the following disciplines: Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), fire service, governmental administrative, hazardous materials personnel, healthcare (non-EMS), law enforcement, public health, public safety communication, public works, and other skilled support personnel who provide immediate support services during prevention, response, and recovery operations. Federal, international, and private-sector students are eligible to attend CDP training on a space-available, cost-reimbursable basis. Eligibility details may be found on the CDP website. Both resident (courses taken onsite) and indirect (courses conducted in your jurisdiction) trainings are offered.  Training at the CDP focuses on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) weapons training for emergency response providers.  Onsite training provides opportunities to train and exercise in realistic, hazardous environments; facilities include the Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological (COBRA) training facility, which is the only site where civilians can train with toxic nerve agents; and the Noble training facility, a converted US Army hospital now dedicated solely to the training of healthcare professionals.  Indirect training is provided in a Train-the-Trainer format, so that trainers in your home state can receive authorization from your State Administrative Agency (SAA) to provide CDP-certified training at the local level.

Flash Content"In the attempted Times Square car bombing in New York City on May 1, 2010, a local vendor noticed smoke seeping from the rear of a parked vehicle and alerted a nearby officer, Wayne Rhatigan. Officer Rhatigan, who attended Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) training at New York City’s Training Center, quickly enlisted the help of two other officers patrolling the area to create a perimeter to prevent casualties in case the car exploded. They also alerted the bomb squad, who was on scene within minutes to help diffuse the situation. The vehicle was carrying a large amount of accelerants and explosives that could have killed hundreds.

"The quick thinking by Officer Rhatigan, who acknowledged that his CDP training resulted in his decisive response to evacuate rather than investigate the smoking car a little closer helped thwart the attempted attack. NYPD academy instructors and CDP instructor Rich Teemsma (a former NYPD Bomb Squad Detective) taught Rhatigan's classes, which trained officers in the RAIN (Recognize, Avoid, Isolate, Notify) concept related to protection from improvised explosive devices. Rich commonly tells his students if they find a suspicious package they should 'RAIN on it.'"

Emergency Management Institute (EMI)

The EMI offers both web-based and classroom emergency management training that is focused on integrating various organizations to work together in all-hazards emergencies to save lives and protect property.  The EMI’s National Emergency Training Center is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland as part of the National Preparedness Directorate.  The EMI courses are structured around governing federal doctrine, such as the National Response Framework, the National Incident Management System, and the National Preparedness Guidelines.  Web-based instruction through the FEMA Independent Study Program offers self-paced courses free-of-charge for both the general public and the emergency management community.  Resident courses are offered for a fee to applicants that meet selection criteria and prerequisites.

National Fire Academy (NFA)

The NFA is sponsored by the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA.  The NFA works to enhance the ability of fire and emergency services and allied professionals to deal more effectively with fire and related emergencies.  The NFA offers both on- and off-campus courses, as well as an extensive web-based course catalog, called NFA Online.  On-campus courses are delivered at the NFA facility in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The NFA also has a process for endorsing state-developed courses as NFA-endorsed courses.  Endorsement recognizes that some state-developed courses are the equivalent of NFA courses in both quality and content. The NFA and State Fire Training Systems have agreed upon a set of criteria and a process to have state-level courses endorsed as NFA courses. The states will manage the system for assessing courses submitted by individual states; essentially, states will follow a peer-review process using geographically distant states to perform the assessment. Once a course meets the established criteria, it becomes an NFA "endorsed" course. Endorsed courses are NFA courses delivered locally by local instructors. 

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)

The FLETC serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 federal agencies. The FLETC also provides services to state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement agencies. The FLETC is headquartered in Glynco, Georgia, and has two other residential training sites in Artesia, New Mexico and Charleston, South Carolina. The FLETC also has a non-residential training facility in Cheltenham, Maryland.  The Office of State and Local Training also provides low- or no-cost training to state, local, tribal and campus law enforcement officers.    

National Exercise Program (NEP)

The NEP is a congressionally mandated exercise program designed to strengthen the nation’s capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction or natural disasters. The NEP enables federal, state, and local departments and agencies to align their homeland security exercise programs. This alignment is achieved by issuing annual NEP exercise planning guidance derived from a strategic review of risks (threats, hazards, vulnerabilities, and operational risks), and by outlining a five-year schedule of NEP-tiered exercises.

Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program

The REP Program ensures the health and safety of citizens living around commercial nuclear power plants and informs and educates the public about radiological emergency preparedness.  The REP Program responsibilities encompass only “offsite” activities, that is, state, tribal, and local government emergency planning and preparedness activities that take place beyond the nuclear power plant boundaries.  Onsite activities continue to be the responsibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  The REP Program provides regional courses on safety during a nuclear incident as well as a national REP exercise program.

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