St. Francois County Health Center Director and Emergency Responder Sharon Wallace has received Homeland Security training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala. The CDP is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction training facility in the nation.
“The Pandemic Influenza Planning and Preparedness training course I attended at the CDP helped emphasize the collaboration needed among community officials, planners and responders at all skill levels,” said Wallace. “The training created a better understanding of the threat of pandemic influenza and the roles we all play in preparation.”
She said a pandemic would not only be a medical event, but would impact the community’s economy.
The CDP provides federally-funded, interdisciplinary training for emergency responders from across the U.S. in various areas of emergency response, law enforcement, public health, public safety communications and public works. The goal of training is to help responders gain critical skills and confidence to be better prepared to effectively respond to local incidents or potential weapons of mass destruction incidents.
“Our lives changes after Sept. 11, 2001,” said Wallace. “With the help of federal funding, the local public health agencies have increased their capacity to prepare and respond to a growing number of potential threats — from pandemic influenza to bioterrorism attacks.”
Wallace said planning should be a part of every home and business. She said the Health Center and other emergency management coordinators are working together to effectively respond to any event and minimize its impact on our community.