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Department of Homeland Security Shield / FEMA
Center for
Domestic Preparedness

Basic Emergency Response Training

24 Contact Hours


This course provides instruction and practical experience in the skills required to safely support mass casualty incident operations during hazardous materials or weapons of mass destruction incidents. Course content includes knowledge and practical experience in the recognition of hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction clues, identification of hazardous materials, determination of protective actions for hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction, performance of patient triage and lifesaving interventions, techniques for patient movement and basic rescue, operating in personal protective equipment, the conduct of emergency and tiered patient decontamination, and a survey of select hazardous materials air monitoring and detection instruments. The course culminates in the conduct of a simulated mass casualty incident operation based on a realistic hazardous materials or weapons of mass destruction scenario. The course was designed for those individuals who have no previous training in hazardous materials response and who do not work as hazardous materials responders within their community.  

“The course is not intended for experienced hazardous materials professionals and does not meet any certification requirements.”

Target Audience

The target audience for this course is personnel with an implied or stated requirement to support mass casualty incident operations during a hazardous materials or weapons of mass destruction incident.

Prerequisites and Requirements

Course Prerequisites. To be eligible to attend this course, a student must:

  • be capable of standing and walking for prolonged periods,
  • be capable of bending at the waist and kneeling,
  • as an individual, be capable of lifting up to 50 pounds and, as a member of a team, larger loads consistent with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, and
  • be capable of donning, operating in, and doffing PPE to include being physically and mentally capable of wearing a respirator that conforms tightly to the face.

Exceptions to any of the above prerequisites may be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Center for Domestic Preparedness Registrar.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education Units or Academic Equivalency. As an International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) authorized provider, the CDP awards 2.4 continuing education units for this program under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/IACET Standard.


1/30 – 2/3/2022