Weather Alert:

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.


Please complete the form below to register. An email will be sent to confirm your registration status.

  • Food will be provided. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions so we may make accomodations
  • Please inform us of any reasonable supports or accomadations you may need

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.


Swift River Gun Club, Belchertown, MA

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

The 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.

The training will be held on Tuesday through Thursday, October 23 to 25, 2018. The training will be held at the Swift River Gun Club, Belchertown, MA, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm each day.

The training is free and food will be provided.

Registration is required. All registrations will be reviewed and you will be notified if you are accepted into the course.

This class is full and registration is closed. We have an extensive waitlist. Thank you for your interest.

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. 

Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, MA

7:30am to 5:00pm

First Responders are facing threats from a growing number of fronts that weren’t even in the realm of possibility just a few years ago:

  • Clandestine labs using dangerous, explosive processes, yielding highly caustic and flammable substances
  • Street drugs imported and manufactured that are highly concentrated and now may be weaponized
  • Terrorism, domestic and foreign, driven by a wide variety of ideologies
  • Bourgeoning gang culture thriving, financed by underground drug money
  • Social unrest and disruptive and violence directed at non-law enforcement public safety agencies
  • Unpredictable weather patterns creating high impact storms on a more frequent basis with long and complex recovery operations
  • Increasing frequency of attacks on soft targets
  • Mass casualty incidents where tools and techniques are intentionally used to cause loss of life and gross bodily injury of civilian gatherings
  • Applications for new technologies such as drones and robots in managing threats

The Emerging Threats to First Responders training will bring together leaders in Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, Tactical, HazMat, EOD, Technical Rescue and K-9 for a fast-paced, multimedia workshop designed to consider these hazards and the required creative multidisciplinary solutions in a way public safety professionals may not have experienced them before.

Sessions will be case-study based and offer perspectives of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. The sessions will present and demonstrate a wide variety of cutting-edge technology resources available to protect first responders dealing with these new every-day challenges.

Due to the sensitive nature of this training, it is open to mid-to-senior level commanders. All first responder disciplines, including fire, ems, law enforcement, EMD, public health, hospitals, communications, transit, municipal leaders are encouraged to attend.

OEMS credits are pending.

Registration for this training is full. 



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

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council in partnership with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency presents
Pediatric Disaster Response & Emergency Preparedness Training.

This training is facilitated by TEEX – Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services


This course prepares students to effectively, appropriately, and safely plan for and respond to a disaster incident involving children, addressing the specific needs of pediatric patients in the event of a community based-incident. Pediatric specific planning considerations include mass sheltering, pediatric-triage, reunification planning and pediatric decontamination considerations. This is not a hands-on technical course, but instead a management resource course for stakeholders like pediatric physicians, emergency managers, emergency planners, and members of public emergency departments like EMS, Fire, Police, Public Health, and Hospitals in field of disaster response and preparedness work.


None. However, familiarity with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) via completion of study courses IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 (or equivalents) is recommended.


Students must bring a copy of their SID number to class. To obtain a number:


  • Introduction to Pediatric Response
  • Emergency Management (EM) Considerations
  • Implications for Planning and Response
  • Functional Access Needs Considerations
  • Mass Sheltering
  • Pediatric Triage and Allocation of Scarce Resources
  • Pediatric Reunification Considerations
  • Pediatric Decontamination Considerations


This workshop is appropriate for mid-to-senior management level first responders from western Massachusetts in the fields of hospitals (including pediatric physicians, emergency room personnel & administrators), emergency medical services, public health, emergency management directors, schools, law enforcement, and fire.

16 hours of OEMS credit are approved for this course.

Registration is closed for this class.

Hampshire College, Amherst MA

8:30am to 4:00pm

The United State Attorney’s Office, along with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Department of Justice offers a forum of learning regarding Public Safety for Houses of Worship and Faith Communities. Several sessions will be held across the Commonwealth, with the session in Western Massachusetts being held on Monday, December 4, 2017 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.


  • To increase the participant’s understanding regarding the various public safety concerns and government roles and responses. Issues like vandilism, arson, internet scams, cyber threats, bomb threats, active shooter and hate crimes will be covered.
  • To increase the participant’s knowledge about planning and preparing for an active threat.
  • To provide participants with tools to build an emergency operations plan


  • Faith leaders, administrators, board members
  • Individuals responsible for emergency management at houses of worship
  • University faith leaders

A informational flyer about the training can be found here.

Registration is required. Please follow this link to register.