Nursing faculty member completes WMD emergency response training
Contact: Constance Woods
HAMMOND – A Southeastern Louisiana University School of Nursing faculty member recently completed two emergency response training courses on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala.
Kristen Whitty, an instructor in nursing from Baton Rouge, was the only Louisiana participant and the only nurse engaged in an initial 40-hour training program along with 27 other emergency responders from across the country. Participants also included police, fire, hazardous materials and emergency medical services personnel. The training provided instruction in the areas of terrorist threat, chemical hazards, biological agents, radiological hazards, and response actions.
“I learned a lot in this course, but especially came back with the knowledge and experience of working collaboratively with other disciplines,” said Whitty.
Whitty – along with several nurses from Northshore Hospital in Slidell – also completed a 12-hour awareness level training course on WMD, designed to certify her to train other emergency responders in Louisiana.
“It’s time to get nurses involved so they will understand not only their role, but what other responders are doing during a mass casualty response,” she said.
Whitty has been a member of the faculty in the School of Nursing for five years and completed her doctorate last December. “She is very enthusiastic about exploring opportunities to share her expertise in disaster management through the undergraduate curriculum as well as through continuing education,” said Barbara Moffett, head of the School of Nursing.
The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Grants and Training and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction training facility in the country. The CDP is also a member of the National Domestic Preparedness consortium, in partnership with Louisiana State University, the Nevada Test Site, New Mexico Tech, and Texas A&M.
Participants who attended the CDP training were selected from 11 million emergency responders nationwide to receive hands-on training to assist them in prevention, protection, response, and recovery from acts of terrorism.
Upon certification Whitty will be able to teach a six-hour course in the state of Louisiana on “Train the Trainer on WMD” which ensures nationwide consistency in WMD education at the awareness level.