CDP Integrates Biological Materials into Training

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Bold Steps in Preparedness: Training with Anthrax and Ricin The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) successfully incorporated biological materials into select training courses February 2012. These new materials, Bacillus anthracis delta Sterne and ricin A-chain, provide the first response community a unique opportunity to work in an environment with biological materials—similar to a real world response. The CDP, located in Anniston, Ala., has trained using nerve agents GB and VX for nearly 14 years, and adding biological materials adds to the diverse training experience using real world threats. Demand for specialized training using biological agents has grown over the last few years as the potential for biological attacks has been identified in several key homeland security publications. Training with ricin provides students a better understanding of how this toxin may be employed, and how effortless it may be to process the toxin from its natural state. The Bacillus anthracis is a uniquely derived, nonpathogenic cousin of the organism that causes anthrax. Both materials are kept in a liquid form to ensure full control of the substances. The CDP training focuses on incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. Once popular for training opportunities using GB (Sarin) and VX chemical agents, now, with the addition of biological materials, the CDP offers a conclusive training experience focused on modern threats. - Location: Anniston, AL
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