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STARKVILLE, Miss. — When disaster strikes, healthcare providers are among the first to respond. Emergency responder and OCH Regional Medical Center’s Administrator/CEO Richard Hilton recently completed training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Alabama. 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.

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.

“I walked away from this experience with a tremendous awareness of how all response agencies come together to meet the community’s safety needs. Sometimes, the response team not only involves local agencies, but also regional and state agencies working together depending upon the geographic extent of the particular disaster incident,” said Hilton. “Healthcare plays a critical role in mass casualty response, and understanding what resources and assets are available and the speed in which it is received only improves the ability for delivery of life-saving quality care,” he added.

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.

A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP’s Chemical, Ordinance, 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, like Hilton, participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events. 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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