The Center for Rural Development and the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) recently hosted the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) quarterly meeting in Louisville.
The NDPC is a national preparedness training consortium for first responders throughout the country. The organization meets quarterly in order to re-group and discuss training needs as they constantly change.
Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said the meeting was extremely beneficial for training providers, such as RDPC. RDPC, which trains rural first responders, is a program of The Center in Somerset.
“The NDPC meetings allow us as a training provider to discuss and listen to issues that are going on throughout the country with today’s first responders,” Lawson said. “We were able to hear issues from various training providers, as well as state, federal and local representatives.”
Need for well-trained first responders
NDPC chairman and NDPTC executive director Dr. Karl Kim gave an opening statement about the importance of training during this critical time for law enforcement with the incidents in Dallas and in Baton Rouge.
“These are difficult times. These are challenging times,” said Dr. Kim. “We need to work together in our community and in our professions to address the challenges that we face.”
Dr. Kim said it is hard to anticipate when or where these events happen and their emphasis as a preparedness consortium is to prepare the nation’s first responders for these events – whether it is intentional or natural disasters.
“Us (training centers) coming together and working together is critical…for the future of our communities,” he continued. “These are centers from across the country. Each Center has a specific focus.”
Open forum to keep up-to-date on training needs
The purpose of the quarterly meetings is for the different committees to discuss issues as they arise and to keep up to date on the training needs of first responders throughout the country. Different committees include curriculum, operations, Information technology and the SAA Advisory Council.
Throughout the three-day meeting, the NDPC invited guests to speak including Mike Dailey of the Office of Bombing Prevention and FEMA, Rose Whitehair, Tribal Liaison, and Jody Meiman of Louisville Metro Emergency Services.
Dailey attended the meeting to provide information on a working program from the Office of Bombing Prevention that will provide private sector businesses with the knowledge to recognize risk factors or suspicious behavior if customers try to purchase precursor materials for bomb making.
Daily said they are currently trying the Bomb-Making Material Awareness Program in 12 states including Colorado, New York, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, and New Jersey.
The program, in conjunction with the Center for Domestic Preparedness, gives students the knowledge to go back and train other employees including the addition of a customized tool kit.
Jody Meiman, executive director of Louisville Metro Emergency Services, was the guest speaker for the second day of the meeting. He spoke about the importance of all the first responder jurisdictions in Louisville working together.
Meiman said Louisville is the host of various events such as the Kentucky Derby and Thunder Over Louisville. He said planning for these events is half the battle.
“We have a strong response community,” Meiman said. “Everything we do, we come together really well.”
The NDPC is made up of training Centers including TEEX; LSU – NCBRT; NMT – EMRTC; CDP; EMI; TTCI – SERTC; NNSA – CTOS; UH-NDPTC. NDPC partners include FEMA National Training Education Department, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, and the Naval Post Graduate School. Training partners target all first responder agencies such as police and sheriff’s departments, fire departments, emergency management and more.
The next quarterly meeting is in October in Nashville, TN.
The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium is led by The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky. The consortium offers tuition-free training to rural first responders in all 50 states and 6 U.S. territories. All training is certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
For more information on the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, go to www.ruraltraining.org.