COLLEGE STATION — The Department of Homeland Security has awarded $25 million to the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) for homeland security and disaster preparedness training through the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (NERRTC), a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).  

The award is part of the FY2018 funding for the Homeland Security National Training Program, which was established to ensure all U.S. state and local responders have access to high-quality preparedness training at no direct costs to participants. The funding is effective Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2020. 

Last year, the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center trained 71,270 participants in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, including tribal responders, to prepare for and respond to all-hazards, including natural and man-made disasters, public health emergencies, cybersecurity attacks and terrorism incidents.

The passage by Congress of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for federal fiscal year 2018 provides funding for DHS/FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate and the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), of which TEEX/NERRTC is a founding member. This year’s award is a continuation of consortium funding that TEEX has received each year since the creation of the NDPC in 1998.

As a primary DHS/FEMA training partner, NERRTC offers training through 59 courses in 12 core competencies: cybersecurity, crisis communications, executive and elected officials’ education, hazardous materials awareness and operations, health and medical services, incident management, infrastructure protection, search and rescue, threat and risk assessment, public works, sports and special events risk, evacuation and incident management, and training gap analyses.

Over the past 20 years, NERRTC has enhanced the nation’s ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from critical incidents and disasters by training over 710,000 emergency responders, senior officials, public works staff and medical personnel nationwide.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, along with Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Florida and Puerto Rico, left widespread destruction that challenged the nation’s ability to effectively respond and recover, said Al Davis, Deputy Director of the A&M Engineering Extension Service and current chairman of the NDPC.  

“The frequency and number of last year’s disasters caused NERRTC to re-evaluate its focus on recovery activities in Texas and across the nation,” he added. “NERRTC has begun collaborating with state and local partners and The Texas A&M University System, NDPC, and federal partners to develop recovery-focused courses that can be deployed as just-in-time-training for jurisdictions in the aftermath of disasters. The training will focus on assisting jurisdictions in understanding and working through the state and federal disaster recovery process for public assistance.  

“The NDPC has trained more than 2.9 million people since it was established in 1998, and its members remain committed to enhancing the nation’s preparedness by providing training that is relevant and meets the urgent needs of the state, local and tribal response community,” Davis said.

(Photo Caption: Participants in an Enhanced Incident Management/Unified Command class.)
About the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service 
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is a state agency that is a member of The Texas A&M University System.  It is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security and workforce training, exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. In 2017, TEEX served more than 173,000 people from across the United States and 75 countries through hands-on training and technical services. 
About NERRTC and NDPC 
The National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center is one of the seven members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium? (NDPC – operating under the DHS/FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate’s National Training and Education Division. Other NDPC members include the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, AL; The National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT) at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA; The Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM; National Nuclear Security Administration/CTOS-Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training (NNSA/CTOS) in Las Vegas, NV; The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at The University of Hawaii (NDPTC) in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC) in Pueblo, CO.
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