When the Center for Domestic Preparedness, located in Anniston, Ala., was founded in 1998, it was envisioned as a resident training facility that would train a maximum of 10,000 responders per year. In 2009, the CDP staff trained more than 98,000 responders from across the U.S. and its territories, well exceeding the initial expectations of the late 1990s.
In an Oct. 9 ceremony, the CDP added another milestone to its young, 11-year history. Firefighter Ralph Thompson became the 500,000th emergency responder to graduate from a CDP training course. A sergeant with the District of Columbia Fire Department, Thompson has been a first reponder for more than 23 years.
Deputy Administrator of FEMA s Preparedness Directorate Tim Manning addressed the large crowd of CDP employees and responder students in attendance.
It s a wonderful occasion, he said. The employees at the CDP have done an amazing job preparing America s responders for the worst of disasters. To be able to graduate 500,000 students means responders around the country have the tools they need when response is required. I m proud to represent the DHS Secretary and FEMA Administrator here today.
Entering its 12th year as the nation s only federally chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility for civilian responders, the CDP will continue to focus on training to ensure communities across the nation are prepared. The CDP is a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and features a distinctive hands-on training experience for state, local, and tribal emergency responders.
Learn more about the CDP athttp://cdp.dhs.gov.