COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – In its 25th anniversary year, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC) has reached a significant milestone – more than one million participants have been trained in homeland security preparedness for incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, cyberattacks, and other all-hazards disasters.
Established by the U.S. Congress in 1998, NERRTC is a founding member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), which was also established in 1998 after the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City brought domestic terrorism to the forefront in the United States.
“The high-quality, hands-on training and field exercises that TEEX provides through NERRTC have saved numerous lives in America’s homeland,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “Our first responders deserve the ‘gold standard’ in response and recovery training and preparation, and I am proud that TEEX is the gold standard for the entire country.”
Through funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NERRTC develops and delivers a comprehensive set of DHS/FEMA-certified courses and workshops at no cost to emergency responders, senior officials, public works staff, and medical personnel in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. The courses are developed and delivered by TEEX’s homeland security professionals, many of whom have responded to or managed some of the most significant incidents on record.
“This is a testament to all of the men and women of TEEX/NERRTC who have worked so diligently over the last 25 years to train our nation’s first responders and to help build a more prepared and resilient nation,” said Jesse Watkins, NERRTC director. “With our broad and deep expertise, and state-of-the-art equipment and resources, I am looking forward to continuing to advance the DHS/FEMA ‘culture of preparedness’ over the next 25 years.”
TEEX has a set of competencies in emergency services, infrastructure and safety, law enforcement and protective services, and business and cyber solutions that enable the agency to sustain its premier position within the homeland security and national preparedness community.
“NERRTC has reached this milestone through the integrated management, collaboration, and leveraging of the training and expertise offered by the TEEX team,” said David Coatney, TEEX agency director. “As a result, our nation’s communities are better prepared to protect, respond, and recover from any type of disaster.”
“The Oklahoma City bombing was a real wake-up call. I felt like it was just a matter of time before terrorism came to American shores again,” said Dr. Kem Bennett, founding director of NERRTC and founding chairman of the NDPC. “Then, with more floods and hurricanes, it became clear that we needed the capability to train for the entire scope of a disaster,” he said. “I am proud that NERRTC has reached this milestone of more than a million trained to help keep our country safe from the wide-ranging threats and attacks that seem to increase daily.”
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Vita Vaughn | Director of Marketing and Communications/CMO