Minnesota NHPC attends FEMA preparedness course

Forty members of Minnesota's Northeast Healthcare Preparedness Coalition recently attended a pandemic preparedness course conducted by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to FEMA.

Students representing Minnesota's healthcare facilities, emergency management agencies, the state's Air National Guard and other sectors attended the Pandemic Planning and Preparedness course at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness. The course goes over techniques that allow jurisdictions to plan and prepare for pandemic emergencies, weather disasters, accidents and man-made hazards.

"Although this course focused on a pandemic response, the training can be applied to any disaster," Marilyn Cluka, a public health preparedness consultant with the Minnesota Department of Health, said. "We gained a better understanding of the incident command system and how we work together with different organizations within an emergency operations center."

FEMA said that disasters and preparing for pandemic events reduce burdens on security, operations and many other services critical to health systems and law and order. The agency said by taking the course, Minnesota is addressing its ability to identify, contain and treat affected survivors while putting plans in place for communities to recover quickly.

"Training and networking as a large group from a single region will help our communication during an incident," Cluka said. "The state of Minnesota benefits greatly from this training, through more experience among its healthcare coalition members and the concentration on planning and preparedness."

The CDP P3 course is completely funded for local, state and tribal response personnel, and transportation, lodging and meals are provided at no cost to the responders or their agency.

The CDP helps to prepare local, state and tribal responders to respond to man-made events or mass casualty events.