High schoolers tour CDP during National Day of Action

Fifty local aspiring healthcare professionals visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) last week as part of FEMA's first National Day of Action.

The students, who were all seniors from the Oxford, Ala.-based Oxford High School, are already certified in first aid and healthcare-provider CPR. Most of the students are pursuing jobs in the healthcare field.

"Our goal is to make our students college- and career-ready by exposing them to a variety of healthcare-related jobs," Amy McCorkle, a health science teacher at the school, said.

The students were able to get a look at how the CDP's instructors train state, local and tribal emergency responders and receivers. They visited the CDP's Advanced Responder and Training Complex (ARTC) and the Noble Training Facility. The ATRC is a massive complex used by emergency responders to train in multiple simulated environments.

"Our tour of FEMA was great," Aaron Vaughn, a senior at Oxford High School, said. "It has so many different scenarios that can happen in everyday life and members train to know what needs to be done when the situation happens. It is a very nice facility and it's just good to know that we have people who are well trained and can help when disaster strikes."

The students are also enrolled in training to be part of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT training prepares citizens to protect their families and community during and after a disaster.