First responders are the ones who head towards disaster, not run away from it. These incredible men and women undergo intensive training to know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency or mass casualty event, like Hurricane Katrina or 9/11. It’s important that they are completely prepared for what they may see, hear, and experience during these events, and this is accomplished through training exercises, like the ones held at the Center for Domestic
Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama.
The CDP trains roughly 50,000 emergency responders annually from all around the country and abroad. They provide advanced all-hazards training in a variety of different disciplines, including Emergency Management, Fire Service, Hazardous Materials, Search and Rescue, and Law Enforcement. Since their doors opened in 1998, they have trained more than 1.3 million responders.
We spoke to Ronald Packard, Senior VP of Operations at The Ginn Group, and Dawn Munroe, Training and Exercise Support Supervisor for the CDP to find out more. Dawn assists the team on exercise days by preparing for exercises, preparing mannequins, creating the scenes for training; it’s a full production! She also assists with creating triage tags and labels for the mannequins to train the responders how to handle injuries and sickness.
Dawn’s career has always been in healthcare, with 16 years in urology. She began her job with Homeland Security scheduling instructors for training events and received cross-training in simulations. She has now been with the CDP for 11 years and we’re excited to have her as part of The Ginn Group’s team.
Dawn’s favorite part of her job is the actual training because she gets to do something that may change the outcome of a bad scenario to a good one. She finds it extremely rewarding and enjoys receiving feedback from her students saying how grateful they are for their training. She says, “Every exercise is different! There is never a dull moment.”
Ron backs the amazing work at the CDP by saying, “When first responders go into these mass casualty events, they need to know what to expect. It makes such a difference for the responders to have had this training. They need to know what to do, in an organized way. It’s hard to not get involved, emotionally, and the first people on the ground have a job to do.”
Dawn added, she loves the motto of Superintendent of the Centers for Domestic Preparedness, Tony Russell that, at the CDP, they are, “Training the best for the worst.” The Ginn Group has the amazing honor of assisting in the delivery of Training Delivery Support Services for the CDP. It is extremely rewarding work and it brings a sense of pride and honor to know that we are helping people around not only the country but the world!