11/16/2010 12:00 AM
TEEX has joined with New Mexico Tech to offer a new Department of Homeland Security-certified course for medical personnel who may respond to an explosion or bombing incident. The 16-hour course is offered at no cost to jurisdictions nationwide as part of the DHS/FEMA Homeland Security National Training Program under the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC). More than 1,200 people have already been trained.
"Medical Preparedness and Response to Bombing Incidents" (PER233/ MGT348) is designed to assist a jurisdiction in developing an EMS incident management team capable of planning for and responding to a bombing incident.
The course was developed with assistance from TEEX subject-matter expert Ernie Whitener and is built around the July 7, 2005, London subway bombing. Each course module examines parts of that incident. The course addresses medical preparedness for and response to blast effects, including identification of targets, explosives characteristics, pre-attack indicators, pre- and post-detonation response, bombing injuries, security and resource management. Co-taught by instructors from TEEX and from New Mexico Tech, the course is also approved for continuing education credit.
"We present an integrated, global picture of what factors will affect a safe and efficient response," said John Rinard of TEEX's Emergency Services Training Institute, and one of the course instructors. The course brings together the expertise of New Mexico Tech in emergency response to bombing attacks and integrates TEEX's expertise in medical treatment for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), to present the entire picture, Rinard added.
Typically the course participants include personnel from emergency response organizations and hospitals throughout the jurisdiction and surrounding areas. Attendees include Emergency Medical Services personnel, nurses, physicians, emergency room personnel, emergency managers, hospital administrators and emergency planners.
Coordinated by TEEX's National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center and New Mexico Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, the course is the first one developed and delivered jointly by two members of the NDPC.
"The course has generated a lot of interest," Rinard said. "We planned to deliver 24 classes the first year, and we already have almost 60 classes scheduled through September 2011." Since Jan. 1, the course has been offered in 16 states and more than 500 have attended the Management track and more than 700 have attended the Tactical/Performance track. He pointed out that this is the first course listed under two separate DHS course catalog entries -management and performance.
"We were the first to develop a class in this format for DHS/FEMA," Rinard said. "We do break-out tracks, where the participants are divided into groups - either tactical or strategic response planning. They go through instruction specific to those tracks and function in those groups during a tabletop exercise that applies the knowledge and identifies gaps in the response processes. No one else is offering this training in this format, which allows all of the potential responders in the jurisdiction to learn and exercise together."