New Department of Homeland Security-certified course coming to Rockford

Staff Report

Assessing the risk to individuals, property and resources within a community is important in determining and prioritizing preventive measures that can aid a community in disaster-resiliency. Rural responders and public officials need to understand the importance of evaluating and planning for disasters within their communities.

The Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) is providing first responders and others in Rockford, with the planning and management-level skills they need to design and implement community-wide emergency response plans in a free Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-certified course.

This eight-hour, classroom-led course, scheduled to be delivered by RDPC July 14, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Winnebago County Health Department, gives participants basic skills to evaluate a community’s vulnerability to potential hazards and how to identify strategies for alleviating the risk of serious consequences.

Registration available online:

MGT 338, Risk and Vulnerability Assessments for Rural Communities, is designed as a planning/management-level course for practitioners in the emergency services sector, public health, local and state government, emergency management, and others involved in the first response community. The training introduces basic principles and skills associated with creating risk and vulnerability assessments in small communities and rural areas. Assessments will provide the essential foundation necessary for participants to design and implement effective emergency response plans.

The course, developed by NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Ark., an academic partner for RPDC, enables participants to recognize and prioritize assets within their community, while enhancing the community’s response and effectiveness to emergencies. The course reinforces the importance and magnitude of risk and vulnerability assessment required to strengthen the community’s ability to endure emergencies and recover from them.

It is strongly encouraged that students have a working knowledge of emergency operations, management, and homeland security practices on an awareness level. It is also suggested that IS-100, an Introduction to Incident Command Center, is completed, which is gained through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

All training delivered by RDPC is certified by DHS and is offered tuition-free for a broad scope of stakeholders, including the traditional emergency response disciplines, and other emergency support functions as defined by the National Response Framework, as well as critical infrastructure owners and operators.

RDPC is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Training and Exercises Integration Division partnership of academic institutions with a vision of creating an environment wherein rural communities across America will have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to enhance the safety, security and quality of life for their citizens.

Current members of the Consortium include East Tennessee State University, Eastern Kentucky University, The University of Findlay, Iowa Central Community College, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, and North Carolina Central University. Each of these institutions possesses extensive and unique capabilities relating to rural homeland security preparedness training.

As a strategic partner to the RDPC, The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky., is responsible for technology including a large network of interactive television (ITV), videoconferencing, and learning management systems necessary to manage large student populations and deliver courses to rural responders across the nation.

For more information, contact Jarrod Withers, Communications Specialist, at (606) 677-6092, or e-mail the Consortium at You may also visit the Consortium website at To schedule this or any other RDPC training, contact the RDPC at (859) 622-8994.

From the July 6-12, 2011, issue

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