The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) recently hosted the National State Administrative Agency (NSAA) Training Symposium. A total of 37 states, four territories and the District of Columbia were represented amounting to more than 140 attendees.

State Administrative Agencies oversee and manage preparedness training for state and local response agencies. This was the third symposium organized by the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) that provides specialized training to the nation’s response force. The NDPC is a partnership of seven nationally recognized organizations that provide preparedness training for first responders within the context of all hazards, including chemical, biological, radiological and explosives including counterterrorism.

“This symposium is about demonstrating the training and capacity-building that is available through the seven-member consortium,” said Dr. Karl Kim, Chairman of the NDPC. “Each member has a specific focus or specializes in a certain range of hazards. Each brings a different expertise and we work very closely as a group to ensure we are developing and delivering the right training for the right people.”

The NSAA symposium was a three-day event that highlighted collaboration, enhanced training opportunities and training priorities to ensure the nation’s level of preparedness continues to improve. NDPC members include FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala.; New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center in Socorro, N.M.; Louisiana State University’s National Center for BioMedical Research and Training in Baton Rouge, La.; Texas A&M University’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center in College Station, Texas; Counter Terrorism Operations Support/the Nevada Test Site in North Las Vegas, Nev.; University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center in Manoa, Hawaii; and the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) in Pueblo, Colo.

“The symposium is designed to educate everyone about the high-quality training that is available and we hope everyone walks away with knowledge about the training that is available: Where to get it; how to access it; and how the training can be used to improve and increase the safety and security of their communities,” said Kim.

State Administrative Agencies coordinate all training through the NDPC and must remain fully aware of the threats, hazards and risks that may impact their states. The NDPC provides advanced training to those who may be involved in response to any catastrophic event or hazard.

“Since its inception [in 1998], the consortium has trained well over two million first responders and emergency managers across all 50 states and U.S. territories,” said Kim. “We gather every two years and demonstrate the latest training we’ve developed and the new courses that are available to help build the preparedness of our nation.”

In addition to providing greater insights into NDPC training, the symposium helped training representatives from each state learn about the valuable training opportunities at NDPC partner institutions, including the Emergency Management Institute, Naval Post Graduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and the Office of Bombing Prevention.