CDP expands hazardous materials course

The Hazardous Materials Technician for CBRNE Incidents (HT) course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala., recently expanded from three to five days to better train HAZMAT technicians who respond to emergencies.

In the expanded course, participants have more opportunities to use emergency response equipment and train to better respond to an all-hazards event. The course also now includes advanced training venues that allow the CDP to offer a more realistic experience for trainees.

"The CDP collaborates with agencies nationwide and around the world," Chuck Medley, the assistant director for Training Delivery, said. "We work hard to understand the latest threats impacting homeland security ensuring the response community is prepared. The HT course is developed for emergency response and designed around the framework of several disciplines."

The 40-hour HT course includes training at the CDP's Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological training facility (COBRA). The center is the only civilian facility in the U.S. that uses live nerve and biological agents in its training.

"When you first step through the doors at COBRA it's an intense feeling. It all becomes very real," Patrick Burroughs, a fire fighter from Delray Beach, Fla., said. "When you get that positive hit for nerve agents or you move to the biological materials, where we got a positive hit for anthrax, it really brings it all home. It's a little intense but it's amazing."