The CDP hosted a celebration June 14 to mark the center’s 20th anniversary, and FEMA officials, local elected officials and former CDP superintendents were among those in attendance at the small but stylish event.

The celebration included the presentation of colors by an honor guard from the Calhoun County (AL) Sheriffs’ Office, the singing of the national anthem by Cindy Woodard, and the reading of an invocation by Tommy Buzan.  CDP members with between 5 and 10, 10 and 15, and 15 and more years of service were also recognized.

Additionally, a narrator read the text of a letter from Congressman Mike Rogers to mark the occasion, which the representative had entered into the Congressional Record earlier in the month.

The letter touts how ‘the Center’s unique training capabilities have prepared the nation’s communities to plan for, respond to and recover from disasters,’ and  says the congressman is looking forward ‘to witnessing its (the CDP’s) continued service to the nation.’

The narrator also provided a brief ‘then and now’ comparison of the CDP’s parent agencies, facilities, and training and budget numbers, to show how much the center has changed since it first opened its doors in 1998.

FEMA’s acting deputy administrator, Dr. Daniel Kaniewski, provided the event’s keynote address. 

“The CDP is uniquely postured to reach, target and train SLTT first responders and can rapidly pivot to emerging training needs. No one else in the country can do this as effectively,” he said.

“You’ve (the CDP has) proven time and time again that when the nation’s first responders need world class training, this is where they come,” he added.