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Texas Task Force 1 has teamed up with the Technology and Economic Development Division to improve U.S. capabilities to defend against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by making sure cities and emergency responders get the equipment they need when they need it.

“TEEX is working on a project mandated by Congress to set up WMD equipment pods at several strategic locations across the country,” said TX-TF1 Leader Tim Gallagher. “This would make it easier to provide or replenish equipment and supplies for cities that have a WMD incident,” he added. The pods will include such items as chemical protective clothing, atmospheric detection equipment, decontamination equipment, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Dr. Trina Smith of the Technology and Economic Development Division is working with Gallagher to develop and provide the training needed for the management, maintenance and movement of the equipment pods.

The development of the curriculum has been very challenging, both because of a short timeline and the amount of material to be covered, Smith said.

“Our experts tell us that it should take eight weeks to teach, but we only have a week, so we’re going to have to come up with some really creative instructional design solutions,” she said.

One of the solutions is to offer part of the course on the Internet. Participants will complete the web-based portion before coming to College Station for the face-to-face training. “This is another example of how web-based training can work in tandem with more traditional classroom and hands-on training,” Smith added.

The pilot training course is scheduled for the spring of 2002. The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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