The CDP’s COBRA (Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological) Training Facility on Friday learned that it had successfully passed its annual CASARM (Chemical Agent Standard Analytical Reference Material) audit – one of a number of routine examinations of the facility by experts from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and others.

A quality assurance team from the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center conducted the weeklong inspection, which reviewed a large number of administrative documents, structural items, and operational processes. The ECBC, headquartered in Maryland, is the nation's premier authority on chemical and biological research, development and defense.

“In our line of business compliance with regulations, authorities and policies is critical, and the results of this audit is indicative of the professionalism of our employees,” said CDP Superintendent Tony Russell.

The CDP trains up to 2,500 civilian first responders a year to detect and operate in environments with chemical, biological and nuclear materials. It offers the only civilian training courses in the nation featuring live chemical agents such as GB and VX, and biological materials such as ricin and anthrax. The agents and materials increase students’ confidence to deal with hazardous substances during a real-world attack or other incident. 

Overall, the CDP trains up to 50,000 students annually, from law enforcement specialists, firefighters and health care professionals to emergency management officials. The students come from all 50 states and U.S. territories, as well as a number of foreign countries.