COLLEGE STATION – Sixty-two representatives of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) recently met in College Station. Attendees represented all seven members of the consortium, as well as the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and partners from the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and the Naval Postgraduate School. The meeting, held Jan. 26-28, was hosted by the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC), a center within the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
The NDPC is a partnership of public and private organizations committed to serving emergency responders by providing quality, cost-effective training to prevent and prepare for terrorism, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents and other hazards. It is sponsored through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Preparedness Directorate.
The NDPC State Administrative Agency (SAA) Advisory Council members also met in conjunction with the consortium. The advisory council is made up of state training representatives from each of the 10 FEMA regions, along with a tribal representative and a representative from the U.S. territories.
Each consortium member gave a short program update, followed by briefings from the FEMA National Preparedness Directorate – National Training and Education Division, the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. NDPC committees on curriculum, information technology and operations also met.
On Jan. 26, participants had the opportunity to learn first-hand about robotics and small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) used in emergency response during a presentation by Dr. Robin Murphy, author of Disaster Robotics, and Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University. Later, the group was briefed on a new initiative between TEEX and the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
Dr. Kem Bennett, former TEEX Director and Texas A&M Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering, was the guest speaker at an evening reception and dinner on Jan. 27. He provided and entertaining and informative presentation on the creation and history of the NDPC.
The National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC) is a founding member of the NDPC, which was formed in 1998. Other members of the NDPC are: the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University; the National Exercise, Test, and Training Center at the Nevada Test Site; the Center for Domestic Preparedness; the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. in Colorado; and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawai`i.
The NDPC members have expertise in cybersecurity and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive agents, as well as in all five homeland security mission areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. Learn more at: https://www.ndpc.us/.