DHS offers online resources to tribal first responders

The First Responder Group (FRG), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, recently suggested that tribal first responder agencies explore online resources and training.

The FRG offered the online alternatives to potentially costly and time-consuming in-person training.

The DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Tribal Resource Guide serves as a living resource for tribal responders. The online document highlights available resources from DHS, including grant programs, publications and newsletters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Independent Study Program also offers more than 180 distance learning classes that cover topics from operational planning to public disaster communications.

The FRG also highlighted the Capacity Building Webinar initiative, a DHS effort to offer no-cost training in information sharing technologies and tools. Past topics include using weather data for decision making, federal grant opportunities and mutual aid to acquire and use resources in the event of a disaster.

Courses taken through either the Independent Study Program or the Capacity Building Webinar initiative offer the potential to earn continuing education credits.

The First Responder Communities of Practice (FRCoP) also offers a nationwide first responder community for tribal agencies to utilize for information sharing and collaboration. Registered members of the FRCoP can create or join communities on particular topics, areas of interest or mission.