COLLEGE STATION – The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has announced that the agency will receive $22 million for its National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC), which provides specialized homeland security and preparedness training nationwide. The center was established under congressional mandate in 1998 to assist local, state, and tribal jurisdictions prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorism, natural disasters, public health emergencies and other catastrophic events.
The funding for NERRTC was included in the 2011 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act under Public Law 112-10, which passed both houses of Congress after a lengthy budget process and continuing resolutions.
“We are fortunate to have members of Congress who understand and appreciate the importance of the training provided through the NERRTC funding and who work tirelessly on our behalf,” said Bill May, Associate Director of TEEX. “These lawmakers understand that the Homeland Security National Training Program is essential to ensuring that the nation’s emergency personnel are properly prepared to protect our citizens and critical infrastructure in case of a major disaster, irrespective of the cause of that disaster.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently visited the TEEX Emergency Preparedness Campus, which includes the Brayton Fire Training Field, the Emergency Operations Training Center and Disaster City?. Secretary Napolitano was in College Station on Sept. 20 to present the Moss-Scowcroft Lecture at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.
“This visit allowed TEEX to show Secretary Napolitano how we support DHS preparedness programs through training and how we prepare our Texas Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team to meet the response requirements of the state and nation,” May said.
NERRTC is a founding member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which has been critical to the nation’s disaster preparedness, May added. “The NDPC provides training and technical assistance to jurisdictions to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all types of catastrophic events.” The NDPC is a major training partner of the DHS/FEMA National Protection and Preparedness Directorate.
TEEX/NERRTC is one of the seven members of the NDPC involved in the National Training Program. Similar training programs are based in Anniston, Ala.; Socorro, NM; Baton Rouge, LA; Las Vegas, NV; Pueblo, CO; and Honolulu, HI.