TERT Students go through agent operations at the COBRA. During the exercise, students work with and identify biological materials Ricin and Anthrax and also nerve agents GB and VX. Photo courtesy of the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
Classrooms, textbooks, presentations and computers are possibly a student’s most common expectation of a typical learning environment. Recently, 24 students, from Southwestern College in San Diego, traded in their pens and notebooks for breathing apparatuses, bulky gloves, rubber boots and protective suits. These students are enrolled in the college’s paramedic program and attended training at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Ala.
“This training provides our students a well-rounded exposure to current threats and better prepares us,” says Loretta Contreras, an instructor with the college and a paramedic for the past 30 years. “The [Technical Emergency Response Training for CBRNE Incidents] course explains what we should be alert to and topics we don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.”