The CDP recently hosted a member of the United Kingdom’s National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU). NARU has the responsibility for ongoing education and development of the U.K.’s Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART). There are 15 HARTs located throughout England and each is charged with providing clinical care to casualties following a major incident.

“We’re sharing best practices,” said Colin Pinnington, senior instructor supervisor at NARU who recently visited the CDP. “Why keep best practices to yourself. We’ve all had our own types of disasters or terrorist-related events and lessons learned need to be shared. It can only make our training better, especially if an incident transposes itself between our countries.”

In late 2009, the CDP and NARU initiated an agreement to sponsor staff exchanges between the organizations. In January 2012, the CDP welcomed the first HART training team member and the exchange continues. According to Dave Bull, NARU Head of Education, who visited the CDP two years ago and coordinated a visit alongside Pinnington, “the exchange is a two-way experience.”

“The NARU Education Center is always looking at ways we could improve our training and operating procedures.” He said, “The value in conducting an exchange is of continued benefit and in this brief visit we have found areas that can be developed to meet our needs. After visiting here in 2012 I have seen ideas from then be implemented and used in training. This partnership has led to significant sharing of experience between the U.S. and U.K., and potentially improves both of our responses to incidents.”

“The CDP has top-notch facilities and the staff is focused on the detail,” said Pinnington. “The detail really does make a difference to training scenarios and the training environment. The visit was very much worth it. The CDP has great trainers who are very passionate.”

“Both of our organizations will benefit from observations and discussions,” said Chuck Medley, CDP assistant director for Training Delivery. “There is no negative here. NARU practices the best emergency preparedness and response techniques, and they take patient care very seriously. We both have a goal of preparedness, and we train to meet that goal. I’m excited about moving forward, learning more and sharing information that can only make us all better at what we do—prepare and respond.”

Similar to NARU, the CDP training focuses on incident management, mass-casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. During the next year the CDP will send training representatives to observe training operations in the U.K.

“I think the United States and U.K. lead when responding to a mass-casualty incident,” said Bull. “It’s important that we share skills, ideas and work together. We have a common goal to train responders to perform better in treating patients.”

“Both of our facilities rely heavily on subject-matter experts,” said Pinnington. “The training is delivered by people who have real credibility. These are world-class training facilities that are as immersive as you can get them. You’ve combined the smallest detail to provide a higher suspension of reality that makes the training more realistic for the student.”

Following Pinnington’s visit he provided an overview of NARU and the HART program to a group of more than 100 CDP students and instructors. The presentation offered a greater insight into training and preparedness shared between the United Kingdom and United States.

CDP training is fully funded for tribal, state, and local response personnel. Round-trip air and ground transportation, lodging, and meals are provided at no cost to responders or their agency or jurisdiction. The CDP plays a leading role in preparing state, local and tribal responders to prepare for and respond to manmade events or major accidents involving mass casualties. To learn more about the Center for Domestic Preparedness, visit http://cdp.dhs.gov or call 866-213-9553. Visit the CDP on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn