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Department of Homeland Security Shield / FEMA

Center for
Domestic Preparedness

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Training the Best for the Worst

The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) is committed to having an emergency response community prepared for and capable of responding to all-hazards events.


The Center for Domestic Preparedness provides advanced, all-hazards training to approximately 50,000 emergency responders annually from state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as the federal government, foreign governments, and private entities, as available. The scope of training includes preparedness, protection, and response.

Training of state, local, tribal, and territorial responders is fully funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Training of federal, foreign, and private sector responders is on a fee-for-service basis.

Since it opened its doors in 1998, the CDP has trained more than 1.1 million responders.

Why train at the CDP?

The CDP provides training most responders cannot get at their home agencies.

At its Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological Training Facility (COBRATF), the CDP offers the only program in the nation featuring civilian training exercises which use toxic chemical agents and biological materials (i.e. Sarin, VX, anthrax and ricin). The advanced hands-on training enables responders to respond effectively to real-world incidents involving chemical, biological, explosive, radiological, and other hazardous materials.

Training at the CDP’s Advanced Responder Training Complex (ARTC) prepares responders to deal with a wide range of man-made and natural hazards in settings commonplace in communities across the nation. Among other things, the ARTC has an industrial park, a mock subway station, and a simulated street scene with offices, businesses and warehouses.

The Noble Training Facility at the CDP is the only hospital facility in the United States dedicated solely to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response. The facility includes classrooms, exercise and simulation areas, an emergency operations center, emergency department, clinical ward, and an isolation ward for ‘patients’ with highly infectious diseases.

In addition, responders earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for completing CDP courses. Many responders are required by their departments to earn a designated amount of CEUs each year.

Further, the CDP offers the exclusive opportunity to combine state, local, tribal and territorial responders with those from other departments and agencies to train jointly.

Who trains at the CDP?

Responders in 17 different disciplines – Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Governmental Administrative, Hazardous Materials, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Public Health, Public Safety Communications, Public Works, Agriculture, Education, Citizen/Community Volunteer, Information Technology, Security and Safety, Search and Rescue, and Transportation – train at the CDP.

The responders come from all 50 states and territories, as well as a number of foreign countries.