New Brighton, Minn. well-prepared for biological threats

The New Brighton Department of Public Safety's Community Emergency Response Team takes part in annual training exercises. | The City of New Brighton

The citizens of New Brighton, Minnesota, have a strong team of personnel trained and waiting to assist them in the event of a biological threat such as an outbreak similar to Ebola or a bioterrorism event.

“We have a Type 2 hazmat team ready to respond,” Trevor Hamdorf, a police officer who heads the New Brighton Department of Public Safety's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), recently told

Being part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative (URASI) helps the CERT team build capacity and gain experience in response to high-level threats. The hazmat team, which includes approximately 40 personnel, conducts annual training and is part of the statewide incident management team.

As the leader of the New Brighton CERT team, Hamdorf oversees and conducts the eight-week CERT training, which includes disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical operations and light search and rescue operations. Hamdorf also provides instruction on disaster psychology and runs a disaster simulation at the end of the CERT training program.

In addition to being a police officer, Hamdorf is a firefighter, hazmat technician and emergency management technician. He has a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management. His extensive training and education makes him very qualified and confident when it comes to responding to a threat of biological terror or a biological outbreak that could affect the residents of New Brighton.