Emergency response training through a county administrator’s eyes

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I am the County Administrator for a county approximately the size of Rhode Island.  With over 4,000 square miles, Lane County extends from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains, and includes dunes, wetlands, oceans, rivers, lakes, ski resorts, a large university, and a major north-south interstate.  The question of a large-scale disaster, man-made or natural, is not if it will occur, but when.

training student
CAPTION: Anniston, Ala., Oct. 25, 2012 -- Liane Richardson recently graduated the Technical Emergency Response Training for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incidents (TERT) course at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. The TERT course is multidisciplinary and a keystone training program at the CDP. TERT provides a foundation for all emergency responders, to include government officials. 

I recently had the opportunity to attend resident training at the CDP, in Anniston, Alabama. As a fairly new administrator, I am attempting to immerse myself into every aspect of the services we provide.  A large share of those services involves emergency response.  When I learned about the training opportunities at the CDP, I jumped at the chance to attend.

As County Administrator, I have specific roles related to the overall running of a full-service county.  However, I am also very interested in emergency management.  I am in charge of ensuring our county continues to operate during the worst disasters possible, while at the same time responds appropriately to the disaster itself.   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.

I recently attended the Technical Emergency Response Training (TERT) course. This training allowed me to experience first-hand what would be required should a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) incident occur.   I have a better understanding as to what our employees will be facing, what training and resources they need, and what I can provide to them to ensure they respond appropriately, regardless of the situation.   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.  Funding, such as this, is greatly appreciated, and a huge bonus for Lane County.

I whole-heartedly 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 Lane County 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. Thank you CDP and FEMA!

training next to fire engine

CAPTION: Anniston, Ala., Oct. 25, 2012 -- Liane Richardson (front left), Lane County, Oregon, county administrator, simulates the initial decontamination of a disaster survivor at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala. recently. Richardson attended the Technical Emergency Response Training for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incidents (TERT) course.

Last Updated: 
12/11/2012 - 10:37
Posted on Tue, 12/11/2012 - 10:37
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