Preparedness & Response: A Priority in Hillsboro

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As the City Manager for a city of nearly 10,000 residents in Texas, I recently had the opportunity to attend resident training at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness, in Anniston, Ala. The city has benefited from CDP training for several years as we’ve been encouraging members from our emergency response departments to enroll in training at the facility, and I wanted to attend a course there as well.

As city manager, I have specific roles related to the overall oversight of municipal operations within the city. However, I am also active with emergency management, serving on Hillsboro’s Type 3 Incident Management Team as its incident commander, as well as serving as a liaison officer for the Type 1 Southern Area Incident Management Blue Team. The CDP training, without a doubt, makes a difference in the leadership decisions I make-- whether in the office, or in an emergency management situation.

Last week, I attended the Instructor Training Certification course. ITC allows me the ability to remain flexible and save the city money. Many of us have the ability to present courses, but ITC ensures those receiving specific training learn from certified instructors.

Anniston, Ala., Jan. 27, 2012 -- Jack Harper, city manager of Hillsborough, Texas, provides his classmates a hands-on learning experience during his final exercise before graduating the Instructor Training Certification (ITC) course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness. The ITC course allows Harper to provide required preparedness training from a certified instructor, saving his city travel dollars.

Anniston, Ala., Jan. 27, 2012 -- Jack Harper, city manager of Hillsboro, Texas, provides his classmates a hands-on learning experience during his final exercise before graduating the Instructor Training Certification (ITC) course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness. The ITC course allows Harper to provide required preparedness training from a certified instructor, saving his city travel dollars.

The City of Hillsboro also wins because we now have the capability to train locally, and save money from travel expenses. But, when resident training is necessary, I appreciate the fact FEMA provides the opportunity to receive CDP training, at no cost to the jurisdiction. The training is fully funded for state, local, and tribal employees. This type of funding is greatly appreciated, and a huge bonus for Hillsboro and Texas.

I recommend that elected, appointed, and senior employees of government take this training for a better understanding of what it is their first responders do, as well as show them the benefits of CDP training. I feel more prepared, and I believe it all starts at the top. If senior management places priority in certain areas then so will the entire organization.

Emergency management, planning and preparedness, is very important. The more prepared Hillsboro can be for any type of incident, the better off we all will be. I am better prepared thanks to my CDP training, and encourage more government leadership to attend the wonderful training environment that is the Center for Domestic Preparedness. Thanks CDP and FEMA!

Last Updated: 
06/18/2012 - 10:33
Posted on Tue, 02/28/2012 - 08:40
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