Weather Alert:

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Swift River Gun Club, Belchertown, MA

Officer Down Rescue Instructor Training is a 24-hour performance level course designed to give participants the ability to teach fellow colleagues a variety of techniques, skills and tactics which can be employed to rescue oneself, another first responder or civilian in an active threat environment. Participants will learn self-aid, buddy-aid, live-fire rescue, assorted drags and carries, wound management and more. 

This training is open to police, ems and fire first responders from the four counties of western MASS (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire & Hampden). Priority will be given to those needing to renew certification.

This training is physically demanding requiring lifting, running and the ability to work in tight spaces. Participants should self-assess their capacity to meet these demands.

The training is free and food will be provided.

The training location is the Swift River Gun Club in Belchertown, MA. Training dates are Monday through Wednesday, June 10 – 12, 2019. Attendance at all three days is required to receive a certificate.

OEMS credits will be available.

The training is full. Complete the form below if you’d like to be added to the waitlist.

Please complete the form below:




8:00 am to 5:00 pm

The Boylston Rooms, Easthampton, MA

Response calls are escalating in complexity.  An every-day, ordinary call can suddenly become a multi-discipline, multi-agency response, filled with unknown and life-threatening hazards for first responders & the public. First responders need to quickly identify when an incident requires enhanced, specialty response and increased safety procedures.

The Emerging Threats Training 2019 will utilize case-studies, response-call after actions, multi-discipline presentations and equipment demonstrations to raise first responder awareness regarding the complex incidents they may face and the assistance and specialized support available to effectively respond and recover from these incidents.

Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to: Clandestine labs found in drug production and explosives; Disaster Medicine; Street Drugs trafficking & responder safety; Technical Rescue;  Specialty Team Embedded Medics; and Human Trafficking.

This training is appropriate for all first responder disciplines. The training is free and food will be provided.

The training location is The Boylston Rooms, Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA.

7.5 OEMS credits are available for this training.

Registration for this training is closed

Multiple Locations

All day

Chainsaw operations on a normal day can be dangerous. When trees are bent, snapped, or tangled in piles of debris because of a weather incident, hazards are increased significantly. With the frequency of tornados and hurricanes affecting western Massachusetts in recent years, highway crews and firefighters are being called on more and more to clear debris from roads. Chainsaw safety skills are essential to first responder safety during debris management response.

This training series consists of two training modules: Chainsaw Skills & Safety and After the Storm.

In Chainsaw Skills & Safety, students will learn about basic safety equipment and PPE, a saw’s reactive forces, chain tooth parts, and practice felling, notching, hinging and other cutting techniques and calculations. This is a two-day, 16-hour course. Students must attend both complete days. The training is physically demanding, a morning of classroom learning on the first day, followed by field work in the afternoon and full in-field day on Day 2. Students must self assess their ability to meet these demands. This course is a pre-requisite for After the Storm training.

In After the Storm, students will build on the skills learned in the chainsaw skills & safety class. Additionally, students will learn techniques to relieve pressure commonly found in storm-damaged trees. Topics include hazards, spring poles, hangers and leaners, pulls and splits and others. This is a one-day, 8-hour training. Only students who have completed the Chainsaw Skills & Safety class are eligible. This training is physically demanding, all day in the field. Students must self-assess their ability to meet course demands.

This training is appropriate for Highway, Department of Public Works and Fire Personnel. The trainings are free and food will be provided.

Two separate sessions of Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held. The first session will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2019, at Cummington Fire Department. The second session will be held on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 30 and May 1, at Forest Park, Springfield. Class time is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.

One session of After the Storm will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Forest Park, Springfield. Class time is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.


These classes are full. Thank you for your interest. If you have any questions about these or other WRHSAC trainings, please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.


MEMA, Region 3/4, 1002 Suffield Street, Agawam, MA

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) have received two additional special training opportunities from the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).


Sports & Special Events Incident Management Training

March 20 & 21, 2019, 8:30 to 4:30 (daily)


Enhanced Sports & Special Event Incident Management Training

July 9—11, 2019, 8:30 to 4:30 (daily)


Special events such as fairs, parades, festivals, and more are increasingly seen as soft targets by those wishing to cause extensive harm. These courses are designed to further enhance multi-agency collaboration and response to incidents which may occur at a special event or sporting venue. The classes are applicable to all events regardless of size. These courses build on the previous NDPC trainings offered by WRHSAC & MEMA: Sports & Special Events Risk Management & Sports & Special Events Evacuation Training & Exercise; however having attended the previous training is not required.


The Incident Management Training (Wednesday & Thursday, March 20 & 21, 2019) focuses on unique aspects of response to an incident during a special event, including considerations for business continuity and after-action activities. This training drills Special Event Teams’ preparedness & response plans.


Enhanced Incident Management Training (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, July 9, 10 & 11, 2019, Tues, Weds & Thursday) is a scenario-based workshop focusing on event planning, incident management, and policy level decision making. The course is intended to prepare participants for the response to a large scale incident during sporting or special events. Participants will engage in three all-hazard, simulation supported (Biological, Mass Casualty, Active Shooter, Improvised Explosive Device (IED), Hazmat, or natural disaster), emergency response exercises to hone individual and team decision-making skills from a Policy Group, Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and Incident Command Post perspective.Participants will engage in simulation-supported, emergency response exercises designed to hone individual and team decision-making and management skills.

Agencies and disciplines are encouraged to attend as teams. The trainings will assist Event/venue owners, local police, fire, EMS and Emergency Management to build multi-agency coordination partnerships. The more members of your response team who attend, the greater the effectiveness of the training towards your preparedness efforts.

Both trainings are free and will be held at MEMA Region 3/4 in Agawam. Food will be provided.

Both Trainings are full. At this time, the waitlist is also full. 

Any questions can be directed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager, via email, or 413.774.3167 x138


UMass Amherst Campus, Amherst MA

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Drawing on lessons learned by the University of Florida, this conference will inform participants on actions needed for a unified response composed of university, local, state, and federal partners when a known controversial speaker or event comes to campus.


In October of 2017, a controversial speaker rented a venue on the University of Florida campus requiring a significant, unified response from university, local, state and federal agencies. The event precipitated a state emergency declaration, mutual aid support from agencies throughout the state and national media attention. As a result of high levels of preparation, coordination and luck, the day passed without incident. Learn how officials planned for and managed this event as well as lessons learned.

Emergency Management, Police, and Student Engagement of the University of Florida, along with Florida Highway Patrol, will share their experience & insight of preparing for a large scale event where passion and politics are raised, safety & security capacities are challenged, and media attention is heightened.

Key takeaways:

  • Prepare, and then prepare more.
  • Coordinate communications through a central funnel.
  • Identify a single spokesperson before, during and after the event.
  • Develop messages based on your values.
  • Create and maintain a dedicated website about Free Speech rather than creating about the event or using your homepage.
  • It takes a team.
  • Bring together your communications resources across campus and keep them informed.
  • Define clear roles for everyone who is helping.
  • Get ready for the media frenzy.
  • Be able to act quickly.
  • Be prepared to take the criticism.
  • Commit to supporting each other, especially during the chaos.
  • It’s not over when it’s over – it’s our history to write, not the speaker’s.


This conference is open to emergency management, law enforcement and administrators of colleges and universities in Massachusetts, and local, state and federal emergency management, law enforcement, fire and EMS. Due to the sensitive nature of information shared attendance is limited to these disciplines. All registrants will be placed on a waitlist and will be notified via email of acceptance. Thank you for your understanding.

The conference will be held at UMass Amherst on Thursday, January 10, 2019. The conference is free and food will be provided. Sign-in and continental breakfast will begin at 7:00 am. Welcoming remarks will begin at 8:00 am.

REGISTRATION is CLOSED for this event.


UMass Amherst Campus, Amherst MA

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Preparing and protecting a municipal or organization’s computer system from cyber-attacks can seem overwhelming and daunting. Many agencies end up doing nothing because they don’t know where to begin.

In this Cybersecurity Preparedness Conference, attendees will learn the following:

  • Demystify Cybersecurity
  • Effective Information Sharing Methods
  • Critical Security Controls that can readily be applied to any system or network
  • Emerging Cyber Threats and how to prepare
  • Steps to take if you experience a cyber-attack/incident
  • Explore regional municipal solutions
  • Current and future cybersecurity efforts at the local, state and federal level

Presenters include cybersecurity experts from the following state and federal agencies:

  • Commonwealth Fusion Center
  • Massachusetts State Police
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Advanced Cyber Security Center
  • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
  • Mass Cyber Center
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services & Security
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety & Security

This conference is appropriate for municipal officials, first responders, colleges, universities, State and Federal partners, private and public sector organizations and more.

The conference will be held at UMass Amherst on Wednesday, December 5th. The conference is free and food will be provided. Sign-in and continental breakfast will begin at 7:30 am. Welcoming remarks will begin at 8:30 am.


Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

8:15 am to 4:00 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council in partnership with the Franklin County School Nurse Collaborative presents School Emergency Triage Training, a program for school nurses.

School Emergency Triage Training (SETT) is a disaster preparedness training providing school nurses with skills necessary to organize and lead school-based Disaster Response Teams and to perform triage in response to mass casualty incident (MCI) events. SETT is developed by the National Association of School Nurses. 

5.25 Hours of Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) are available. Pre-registration is required. Complete the form below. The training is free. 

This training is open to school nurses in the four counties of western Massachusetts, including Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire & Hampden.

SETT Objectives include:

  1. Describe the importance of preventative training for disaster planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising and evaluating and taking corrective action prior to a school Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) event.
  2. Lists skills and characteristics a school nurse would need to be an effective leader in mass casualty response in schools.

Upon completion of the training, nurses will be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. Describe the importance of preventative training for disaster planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising and evaluating and taking corrective action prior to a school Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) event.
  2. Lists skills and characteristics a school nurse would need to be an effective leader in mass casualty response in schools.
  3. Apply knowledge to develop basic disaster prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery plans for health service providers in schools.
  4. Identify issues unique to the school setting that can impact the sustainability and effectiveness of disaster preparedness measures.
  5. Discuss regional considerations related to disaster preparedness training with local and national resources.
  6. Demonstrate how to use the START/JumpSTART algorithms to perform mass casualty triage.
  7. Identify and list the principles and methods used to perform triage and response to school-based MCI events.
  8. Identify strategies to engage school Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Team volunteers and administrative support.
  9. Describe how the Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice ™ is applicable to Emergency/Disaster Preparedness.


The training is free and food will be provided.

On-site sign-in begins at 8:15 am. The training will begin promptly at 9:00 am.

You must be pre-registered.  Registration for this training is closed.

Please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager if you have any questions.

Springfield Union Station, 55 Frank B. Murray Street, Springfield, Ma

Multiple Times

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council and Amtrak Police Department are hosting Passenger Rail MCI Training.

Through a combination of classroom and hands-on field training, participants will gain skills to respond to a passenger rail mass casualty incident. Students will become familiar with safety and mechanical aspects of Amtrak passenger rail cars, learn Amtrak response protocols, practice locating victims and victim extraction. Tactical law enforcement teams will also learn car entry and search techniques related to a possible hostage or terrorist incident.  Drill scenarios will be tailored to specific responder disciplines to foster a dynamic learning experience.

The training will be taught by Amtrak Emergency Management and Corporate Security.

Multiple, discipline-specific sessions will be held. Please see below for more information.

This training is open to Massachusetts first responders and State and Federal partners.

The training is free and food will be provided. Training location is Springfield Union Station, 55 Frank B Murray Street, Springfield, MA

6.75 Hours of OEMS Credits are available.

Law Enforcement Learning Objectives

  • Provide participating agencies, first responders and other Amtrak stakeholders with situational awareness and a better understanding of how to protect Amtrak’s passengers, employees, and critical infrastructure from acts of terrorism;
  • Decrease Amtrak’s risk from and vulnerability to a potential attack by enhancing situational awareness of critical assets, establishing interoperability, sharing resources, and allowing for networking opportunities with like agencies; and
  • Aid anti-terrorism efforts designed to protect the rail system and maximize resource planning and allocation, as well as establish and maintain critical relationships with partner agencies
  • Perpetrator engagement and control
  • Familiarize you with railroad operations
  • Preparing/pre-planning for potential train incidents involving active shooter and barricaded subject
  • Understand the factors that could affect your safe response to an incident
  • Recognize on-scene dangers for emergency personnel and your equipment while on or near railroad property.
  • Understand the command, control & communication issues
  • How to stop a train in an emergency situation
  • Identify different types of railroad equipment

Sessions for Law Enforcement will be held on Monday, May 7 through Friday, May 11, 2018, with two days dedicated specifically to tactical/special response team.

  • To register for regular Law Enforcement session, click here.

Fire / EMS Learning Objectives 

  • Familiarize you with railroad operations
  • Preparing/pre-planning for potential train incidents.
  • Understand the factors that could affect your safe response to an incident
  • Recognize on-scene dangers for emergency personnel and your equipment while on or near railroad property.
  • Victim extraction and mitigation
  • Understand the command, control & communications issues
  • How to stop a train in an emergency situation.
  • Identify different types of railroad equipment.

Sessions for Fire and EMS will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 16 & 17, 2018. Two sessions each day. To register for Fire/EMS session please click here.


Persons to act as rail accident victims are needed each session. Actors must be 18 years or older. To register as an actor, please click here. 


Other first responder disciplines are invited to observe the hands-on field portion of the training sessions. Limited space is available in each session. To register as an observer, please click here. 

Any questions can be addressed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager,, 413.774.3167 x138

MEMA, Region 3/4, 1002 Suffield Street, Agawam, MA

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

(This training has also been referred to as Operational ICS Training)

This training will provide mid-to-senior level commanders with practical performance level skills enabling them to implement the Incident Command System in the field during every-day responses with confidence while maintaining direct focus on the incident. The course will focus on actions an initial response commander can take to ensure they are using the ICS building blocks and tool‐sets in establishing command and control of an escalating or potentially complex incident. As the attendees learn to better use the management tools within the ICS, they will increase their capacity to manage incidents that are more intricate. Enhancing incident command capabilities improves on‐scene command and control and enhances their ability to establish and maintain a Common Operating Picture.

Registration is required. Please complete the form below to apply.

This course connects the dots between the theory of the Incident Command System and the realities of attempting to apply it while practicing street emergency management. It provides practical and realistic training that enables first responders to actually implement the Incident Command System at the field level or “in the street” during an incident without losing focus on the incident.

Public safety agencies are expected to follow NIMS and have some level of proficiency in utilizing the principles and concepts of the ICS as a condition of receiving Homeland Security grants. Most agencies have completed some of the standardized Incident Command System (ICS) training courses that describe how the system is designed to work and the interactions of the ICS positions that make up an ICS based response organization. However, as it has been repeatedly identified by emergency management professionals, there is no course designed to teach and demonstrate how first responders can realistically achieve the goal of practical ICS implementation on the incidents they respond to on a daily or weekly basis.

The Initial Response Operations for NIMS course focuses on the actions of the All‐Hazards initial response incident commander who is responsible for establishing command and management of the initial response to an incident that may be rapidly escalating to a more complex incident– or already have some characteristics of complex incidents.

The class format of lecture, discussion, and multiple application activities will assist commanders to take NIMS ICS concepts from theory to day to day practice.

Intended Audience

The intended audience is comprised of mid or senior manager emergency responders who may be designated as initial response Incident Commanders or who may arrive first at the scene of an incident and be expected to establish command and management of the initial response to an incident using NIMS and their department policies and procedures. The intended audience may include personnel from a variety of agencies and functional disciplines, including fire service, law enforcement, emergency management, public works departments, public health organizations, medical emergency teams, and hospitals.

This course is independent of the ICS All‐Hazards position‐specific training program or membership on an All‐Hazards Incident Management Team. However, those who assume the incident commander role will benefit from the instruction.

Student Prerequisites

Students attending this course should have completed the baseline ICS training of ICS 100, ICS 200, ICS 300, and IS 700.

The training is free. Food will be provided.

You must attend both days of the training.

OEMS credits are pending.

The course is taught and created by Incident Management Training Consortium.

Registration for this training is closed.

Hatfield Fire Department, 3 School Street, Hatfield, MA

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

This two-day workshop is dedicated to the fire services and emergency responders who are called upon each year to respond to potential threats to their community or industries. One of those threats, in all likelihood, will come directly from local roads and highways in the form of a hazardous materials incident.

According to the US-DOT Hazardous Materials Information System, 86% of transportation related hazardous materials incidents occur on the nation’s roadways. In addition, 76% of what the US-DOT has determined as “serious incidents” also occur on the roadways.

The workshop will prepare participants to effectively respond to emergency incidents and potential spills which involve cargo tanks. Upon completion of the workshop, students will be able to understand:

  • Construction features associated with cargo tanks and their relationship to damage assessment and spills
  • The purpose and functions of safety relief devices and other emergency devices
  • Principles and techniques associated with emergency loading and unloading
  • Containment techniques

The training is a combination of multi-media classroom lecture, hands-on instruction, and demonstrations.

WRHSAC previously provided this training to the District 4 & 5 Hazardous Materials Response Teams. The Teams recommended the training be offered to first responders. Public Safety Multimedia documented the training in this photo essay which provides a visual overview of the course.

Intended audience

This workshop is appropriate for all front-line first responder personnel, particularly fire, EMS & law enforcement.

The training is taught by Safe Transportation Training Specialists.

The training is free. Food will be provided.

You must attend both days of the training.

Seating is very limited. Immediate registration is recommended.

Registration for this training is closed.