The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the City of Los Angeles have teamed up to offer the first-ever Enhanced All-Hazards Incident Management/ Unified Command Course (MGT-314) held outside of TEEX’s Emergency Operations Training Center (EOTC) in College Station. The 28-hour course was held May 8-11 at a specially retrofitted training center at the Port of Los Angeles for more than 40 first responders from across the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
This was the culmination of a journey that began in 2012, when officials with TEEX and the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department began looking for a facility in the Los Angeles area that could support this training. The goal was to reduce travel costs so more LA-area emergency personnel could attend this course, which the city had been sending participants to since 2004. The Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center at the Port of Los Angeles was identified as the best venue for the course, and the building was retrofitted to support the technological needs. The challenge was to replicate the complex environment available in the EOTC in College Station.
“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” said Jory Grassinger, Program Director with TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI). “Although nothing can exactly replicate the environment at the EOTC, we were able to provide the same high-quality training that participants enjoy when they come to College Station.” The EOTC team, which included Chris Gable, Heather Crites, Kris Murphy, Maura Casey and Grassinger, conducted the course in the specially modified training center, supported by eight adjunct instructors, along with eight additional instructors who served as role players and operated the Exercise Control Cell in College Station.
Participants gave the course high marks and said they looked forward to more training provided by TEEX, Grassinger said. Additional opportunities to use the facility, nicknamed “TEEX West,” to conduct future training in the Los Angeles area are under consideration.
In 2003, the MGT-314 course was the first simulation-supported course offered by TEEX. The simulation used for the course, called the Emergency Management Exercise System, was created through a partnership with ESTI subject matter experts and the Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).
Several years ago, TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC) and the EOTC staff recognized the potential for conducting the MGT-314 course outside the College Station facility, Grassinger said. The Emergency Management Exercise System was web-enabled, and in 2014, the course was the first to connect with the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness courses to link the two organizations together in a simultaneous, geographically distributed training event.
Grassinger added, “None of this would have happened without the great work and collaboration of the EOTC team and support from TEES/TCAT and NERRTC.”
The Enhanced All-Hazards Incident Management/Unified Command (E-IMUC) course (MGT-314) has been one of the most popular courses offered by TEEX through the Department of Homeland Security Cooperative Agreement. The course has been a consistent source of innovation as technological advances are developed.
This course was developed and is funded by the DHS/FEMA Homeland Security National Training Program Cooperative Agreement through the sponsorship of the DHS/FEMA National Training and Education Division. It is offered nationwide at no cost to qualified participants.