Skip to main content
Department of Homeland Security Shield / FEMA

Center for
Domestic Preparedness

Main Content

Archived Articles


Patient Simulators Bring Training to Life

They breathe, bleed, cry,show pain, and they can even talk. Many have died and been brought back to life several times in one day during mass casualty exercises at the Center for Domestic Preparednessin Anniston, Ala. The CDP’s Human Patient Simulators (HPS) provide a level of realism and student interaction that’s impossible to replicate with cardboard cutouts or lifeless mannequins.

New York City Police Officer Wayne Rhatigan, of the mounted police force, sits on his trusty steed Miggs in Times Square. Officer Rhatigan credits CDP training for his decisive response to evacuate a specific area of Times Square following an attempted car bombing in May 2010.

A Very Real Payoff for Preparedness Training

Here at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) we focus on delivering all-hazard preparedness training for local, tribal and state first responders. This training is timely, skill-based, and a critical investment in more resilient communities. Time and time again, we have seen cases of CDP alumni putting what they have learned with us to work—saving lives, protecting property and making our co...

Helena law enforcement discuss the procedures they must take to remove protesters from the state capitol in July 2011

CDP Training Pays Off for Montana Civil Disobedience Team

The city of Helena, Mont. garnered national attention in mid-July 2011 when approximately 70 environmental activists from Montana and other states gathered at the state capitol to dispute construction of a planned pipeline from Alberta, Canada through Montana. Thanks to training through the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), the local Civil Disobedience Team (CDT) was prepared to respond and ...

Bold Steps in Preparedness: Training for biological attacks at the Center for Domestic Preparedness

On the morning of February 8, 26 responders from more than a dozen states made history when they donned Personal Protective Equipment and entered a unique training facility in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. These individuals were the first group of responders to train with biological materials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, A...

Integrated Capstone Event Expands Training for Responders

Long known for its unique, hands-on training classes for emergency response personnel, FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), recently combined three courses and 108 respondersinto an Integrated Capstone Event (ICE), giving students from multiple disciplines the opportunity to experience the full impact of a mass casualty incident.

Modern Emergency Department Enhances Training at CDP

FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) reopened its hospital Emergency Department (ED) for training in late January. Five months after renovations began the 8,000 square foot area features expanded training space and improved technologies to enhance medical surge training for CDP students.

CDP Training Helped Communities Prepare for Real World Pandemic

"The CDP pandemic training gave us the insight to educate our employees and local fire departments on the pandemic issue. It helped us prepare our institution in ordering supplies and having the masks, gloves and sanitizers on hand. We all knew this was going to happen, we just didn't know when. This has played out just like the [exercises] we did in Anniston. But even faster than expected." -Bob ...

The exterior of St. John's Regional Medical Center displays the danger patients and workers experienced during the storm

CDP Training Affects Tornado Response: Joplin's Hospital Evacuates

In May 2011, as tornado sirens sounded, hospital workers at St. John's Regional Medical Center rushed to pull 183 patients to safety as one of the largest tornadoes on record bared down on their southwestern Missouri city. Breaking glass and the roar of the powerful storm deafened the dark hospital as power was lost.

Hazardous Materials Course Focus on WMD Attack and Response

The threats against America and its citizens has become real, and the need for ready responders is ever more critical. Response personnel must remain vigilant, and skilled with the preparedness knowledge to protect the citizens and cities they serve.

Nathan Paddock helps earthquake victims in Haiti

CDP Student Puts Specialized Training To Use Following Haiti Earthquake

My Name is Nathan Paddock. I work for the Unity Health System Emergency Center in Rochester, N.Y. In 2009 I attended the Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents (HERT) course, Hands-On Training for CBRNE Incidents (HOT) course, and most recently graduated from the Hazard Assessment and Response Management for CBRNE Incidents (HARM) course. In February 2010, I had the oppor...

RAD Operations Training Improves Radiological Response

The recent earthquakes and subsequent radiological impacts in Japan have increased the awareness and interest in how communities respond to radioactive incidents. Despite the recent increased attention on radiological hazards, training for such a potential incident has been happening at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) for the past four years.

CDP, AFC Offers Pro Board Certification

The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), located in Anniston, Ala., recently teamed with the Alabama Fire College (AFC) to offer Pro Board certifications to eligible first responders attending the Emergency Responder Hazardous Materials Technician for CBRNE (ERHM) incidents course. The Pro Board accreditation for the CDP curriculum under the umbrella of the AFC program provides an opportunity f...

The city of Minot, N.D. experienced the worst flooding in over 130 years in June 2011.

CDP Training Vital to North Dakota Flood Response

As Bill Brown received flood condition updates in June 2011, city officials were preparing for the worst overflow in more than 130 years. Brown, a retired captain with the Minot Police Department and now the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, was making arrangements to staff the city's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and coord...

Colorado responder Bill Mayfield inspects his protective mask as his team prepares to conduct scenario-based operations in a hazardous environment with suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction

Colorado Responder Credits CDP Training with Response Success

Colorado Responder Bill Mayfield has attended eight specialized training courses at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) and has an impressive multi-disciplinary background in healthcare, fire fighting, emergency management, and hazardous materials.

Tim Hatch, Environmental Program and Logistics Director, Montgomery, Ala.

Environmental Health Response to Alabama Tornadoes

The severe tornadoes that swept through Alabama on April 27, 2011 destroyed more than 6,000 square miles and claimed 248 lives. With power out and water systems and other public infrastructure destroyed following the storms, environmental health specialists were left with the significant challenge of keeping diseases from spreading as citizens dealt with unrefrigerated foods, waste, unfiltered wat...

Hands-On Training Showcases CDP Mass Casualty Exercise

The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala. is known for its realistic, emergency response exercises. Responders attending the Hands-On Training for CBRNE Incidents (HOT-I) course will now have an added level of realism thanks to a school bus the CDP recently added to the simulated mass casualty exercise for each class.

Hazardous Materials Evidence Collection

Evidence collection processes have sometimes determined the outcome of criminal proceedings. However, the crime scenes of today are making the process more difficult with the potential recovery of chemicals, explosives, biological or radiological materials. These aspects make it even more paramount to follow procedures to ensure safety of on-scene personnel and successful prosecution of criminals.

Joan McMahon

Iowa Nurse Credits CDP Training For Successful Flood Response

When the Cedar River reached historic flood levels June 2008 and forced the evacuation of as many as 10,000 townspeople from nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a local nurse knew exactly what to do thanks to specialized training she'd received from FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP).

EMO Offers Hands-On Experience for All Disciplines

Known for offering extensive hands-on training in a mass casualty response, the Emergency Medical Operations (EMO) for CBRNE Incidents course providesfirst response personnel, serving in a variety of positions, necessary skills to perform during an emergency or catastrophic event. The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), located in Anniston, Ala., focuses its training on incident management and...

Tribal Pandemic Response Training for Oneida Indian Nation

In 1997, hundreds of citizens in Hong Kong were infected with Avian Flu. In 1999, another strain of the avian flu made Hong Kong headlines when two children were infected. Although the viruses didn’t result in a pandemic, the ability to move from birds to humans created alarm. Experts fear that an influenza pandemic such as the avian flu could become global in the not so distant future.