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Akwesasne Residents Attend Emergency Preparedness Training


From left: Akwesasne TV Production Assistant/News Reporter Kevin Lazore, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Sub-Chief Cheryl Jacobs and SRMT Communications Director Brendan White attended a weeklong training program at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness that taught them measures to assist the Akwesasne community during emergency situations.

(March 27, 2018) Three Akwesasne residents recently completed emergency preparedness training offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP); in Anniston, Ala. Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Sub-Chief Cheryl Jacobs, Communications Director Brendan White and Akwesasne TV Production Assistant/News Reporter Kevin Lazore attended CDP last week, which is a facility operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation.

"When we attend free training opportunities provided by FEMA, and more importantly Tribal Nations Week, it is an opportunity to engage in meeting individuals working for Tribes throughout the U.S. in the Emergency First Responder's field and network and share our stories and the lessons learned," stated Sub-Chief Jacobs. She continued, "National Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it involves everyone, not just our government. We gain valuable educational and personal experiences that may help us in being prepared, because at the end of the day we work to be prepared to keep us all safe and secure from harm when a hazard occurs."

The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers, and other government officials from state, local, and tribal governments. The CDP offers more than 40 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state, local, and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency.

"Emergency preparedness is something individuals can do before a natural hazard or other emergencies take place," said White. He added, "Emergencies are not a matter of "if", but "when," and when they do happen there are advance measures to help lessen the burden on first responders. I encourage those that qualify to consider utilizing these free opportunities to help make our community better prepared."

Resident training at the CDP includes healthcare and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation's only hospital dedicated to training healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response. The three Akwesasne residents received training on the capabilities and response actions of Incident Command, incorporation of social media tools and techniques into emergency alert systems, and concluded their training with an Integrated Capstone Event Table Top Exercise.

A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP's Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological (COBRA) Training Facility. The COBRA is the nation's only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment using chemical agents. The advanced hands-on training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to, and recover from real-world incidents involving acts of terrorism and other hazardous materials.

"The training really got me thinking as to how prepared is our community when a disaster strikes? Are we ready?" shared Lazore. He noted, "We can never be too prepared for something to happen and the training really made me think about that from a new reporter's perspective and understanding what a first responder does, being prepared in an incident or operation and how as media we can help get the correct information to the community."

Responders participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events.

Information about CDP training programs can be found at Visit the "News & Media" tab at the top of the site to download images, share CDP training articles, and find out what others are saying about CDP training. For more information about the CDP, contact the CDP External Affairs Office, at (256) 847- 2212/2316 or e-mail


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