Weather Alert:

Multiple Locations

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Registration for these trainings is closed. Thank you for your interest. 

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council in partnership with UMass Amherst, Springfield College and Williams College offer
Family Reunification Training. 

After Action Reports from real-world incidents and from regional exercises have identified the reunification of children and their family/care-givers as a gap of concern for emergency preparedness and response. WRHSAC has been working to address this gap in western Massachusetts through its Children in Disasters: Keeping Kids Safe initiative. Over the last year WRHSAC has develop a Family Reunification Plan Template, a complete toolkit which agencies, schools, or municipalities may adopt to create their own Family Reunification Plan. (The link to this template will be available soon).

The training will be facilitated by I Love You Guys Foundation. I Love You Guys have developed the Standard Response Protocol and Standard Reunification Method, which are being utilized across the country as best practice for reunification. These documents were key to the development of WRHSAC’s Family Reunification Template.  

This training will prepare participants to reunify children with their families following an emergency incident. WRHSAC’s Family Reunification Plan Template will be provided to participants to develop their own reunification plans. Appropriate for schools, colleges, municipalities, emergency management directors, first responders and any agency providing services to children in western Massachusetts.

Three separate sessions of this training will be held:

  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017—Springfield College, Springfield, MA
  • Thursday, October 26, 2017—Williams College, Williamstown, MA
  • Friday, October 27, 2017—UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA – This session is full and waitlisted
  • 8:00am to 5:00pm each session

The training is free and food will be provided.

Comfort dogs and their handlers from HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response will also be present. 

To register please complete the form below and indicate which session you wish to attend. All registrants will be placed on a wait list. You will be notified of acceptance.

Any inquires can be addressed to Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager, 413-774-3167 x138

Registration for these trainings is closed. Thank you for your interest.

UMass Amherst Campus Center

8:15 am to 5:00 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is offering Medical Preparedness and Response to Bombing Incidents on Thursday and Friday, November 3 & 4, 2016. This two day training is free and open to all emergency response disciplines. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day.

We had a great class. Thanks to everyone who attended. 

Medical Preparedness and Response to Bombing Incidents Training addresses medical preparedness for and response to blast effects through a combination of lectures, small group activities and tabletop participant exercises. Participants completing this course will gain an enhanced understanding and awareness of issues and considerations relating to bombing incidents. Content areas include identification of targets, explosives characteristics, pre-attack indicators, pre- and post-detonation response, bombing injuries, security, and resource management.

This course is designed for personnel from any professional background who may become part of a community response to a bombing event. This interactive, instructor-facilitated program employs case studies and research-based information designed to enhance medical preparedness for and response to blast effects. Breakout sessions address considerations and concerns specific both to medical responders and emergency planners.

This training represents a cooperative effort between New Mexico Tech’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (NMT/EMRTC) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of The Texas A&M University System. To register complete the form at the bottom of this page.


  • Terrorism target identification
  • Types of terrorism
  • Explosive characteristics and behaviors
  • Homemade explosives
  • Pre-attack indicators
  • Blast injuries types and treatment
  • Mass casualty triage
  • Pre- and post-detonation response
  • Planning considerations
  • Command considerations
  • Understanding local/state/federal resources
  • Case studies
  • Integrated tabletop exercise
  • Audience

Recommended Audience:

  • Fire Services
  • Law Enforcement (federal, state, local, county)
  • SWAT/ Special Response team members
  • Tactical Medics
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Hospital personnel
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Emergency management organizations
  • Emergency managers and planners
  • City Medical / Public Health
  • County Medical / Public Health
  • State Medical / Public Health
  • Federal Medical / Public Health
  • Private Industry
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  • Dispatchers


FEMA / SID Number Students must register and bring a copy of their SID number to class. Register online:

CE Credits

This course is approved and accredited for continuing education hours from:

ENA- Emergency Nurses Association

AAFP – America Academy of Family Physicians

OEMS – Office of Emergency Medical Services


University of Massachusetts Campus Center

One Campus Center Way

Amherst, MA

Time: Registration will begin at 8:15 am and light breakfast buffet will be available. Course will begin promptly at 9am and end at 5pm each day.

Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell Street (Rt. 9), Hadley MA

8:00 am to 4:30 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council will host a Pediatric Psychological First Aid (PFA) Training on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at the Hadley Farms Meeting  House in Hadley, MA. This training is an initiative of WRHSAC’s Children in Disasters: Keeping Kids Safe project.

Pediatric Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence informed approach for assisting children and adolescents in the aftermath of disasters and terrorism.

This course will be facilitated by members of PFA International, including  Dr. Kermit Crawford, Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health, Boston; Dr. Shamaila Khan, Director of Behavioral Health Services, Massachusetts Resiliency Center, Boston; and Dr. Russell T. Jones, from Virginia Tech University, a specialist in working with traumatized children.

This training is appropriate for first responders, all school staff especially teachers & nurses, hospital staff, counselors & therapists, day care providers, faith-based members, and others who interact with children, infants through teenagers, on a regular basis.

Handlers and nationally certified comfort dogs from HOPE: Animal Assisted Crisis Response will be attending. WRHSAC is grateful for their participation.

This training is free.  A light breakfast and full lunch will be provided. On-site registration begins at 8am. The training will begin promptly at 9am.

We encourage you to register soon as course size is limited to 100. The course is expected to fill quickly. Registration is open to individuals from western Massachusetts. A waitlist will be started once the course if full.

OEMS credits (7 hours) have been approved for all levels of EMT. Nursing CEUs are pending.

This training is full. Thank you for your interest. 

Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA

This event is full and registration is closed. Only registered attendees will be allowed admittance.

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Springfield, MA Field Office invite you to a one-day informational symposium on active shooter incidents on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. 8:30am to 4:30pm.  The symposium is open to professionals living or working in western Massachusetts. Registration is required (see below for registration information).

Presenters will share take-aways in the areas of recommended response actions for public safety responders, organizations and businesses. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the event to build relationships for collaboration in preparing for and managing incidents.

The FBI will present their educational video “The Coming Storm”. The video dramatizes the occurrence and aftermath of a campus shooting, weaving within the story the best practices and lessons learned from active shooter incidents that have occurred throughout the United States. In addition to the video, FBI Special Agent Thomas Veivia will discuss some recognized patterns of behavior and warning signs demonstrated by shooters prior to events.

Lt. David DelVecchia, Connecticut State Police and Captain Joseph Rios, Newtown, CT, Police Department will discuss the response to, the logistics of the investigation and post incident management of the tragedy which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012.

Chief David Billings, Manchester, CT, Fire Department will discuss the Hartford Beer Distribution incident which occurred on August 3, 2010 and review specific considerations for Fire/EMS when responding to active shooter incidents

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) will provide an overview of current preparedness and response activities throughout the Commonwealth.


Intended Audience

Public Safety professionals, first responders, hospital professionals/security, school administrators, faculty and security from pre-school through higher education, school resource officers, faithbased organizations, businesses, public and elected officials, large venue/event organizers, and chambers of commerce who live or work within the four counties of Western Massachusetts. People registering from outside of western Massachusetts will automatically be placed on a waitlist. Two weeks prior to the event, if space allows, people on the waitlist will be accepted and notified of registration.

The event is free and food will be provided (breakfast pastries/fruit, hot lunch and beverages). Parking is free.

WRHSAC and the FBI wish to thank the Deerfield Academy for hosting this regionally important event.

Registration for this event is full and closed.  


The Red Barn at Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA

8:30am to 5:00pm

WRHSAC is conducting Medical Management of CBRNE Events Training on January 12 & 13, 2015

**Thank you for your interest in this course. The course is full. We are no longer accepting registration**

What if a catastrophic event occurs? Will you be ready? Will you need a special level of protection? Is decontamination necessary? Do you have the right medications?

Medical Management of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives, (CBRNE) Events answers these questions and more as you learn how to distinguish between different agents of concern that could be used in a major incident.

This two-day course is a combination of facilitated discussions, small-group exercises, Human Patient Simulator hands-on scenarios, and traditional classroom discussions. Exercises are conducted in a CBRNE scenario using both adult and pediatric Human Patient Simulators to reinforce classroom lectures and interaction. You must attend both days to receive a certificate.

This course promotes critical thinking skills while utilizing the RAPID-Care concept. The multi-discipline make-up of the participants helps to strengthen information sharing, communications, and medical surge capabilities.

This course is taught by Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services. The course is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration will begin at 8:30am. Class begins at 9am and will end by 5pm each day. The training will be held at The Red Barn at Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA. 

This training is appropriate for the following disciplines:

  • Fire Services
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Law Enforcement
  • Hospital personnel, physicians and nurses
  • Public Health
  • Public Works (PW)
  • Emergency Management Organizations
  • City, County, State and Federal Medical
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  • Dispatchers

It is recommended that you take the following online course prior to attending this training:

OEMS credit of 16 hours for all levels of EMT/Paramedic have been approved. 16 hours of Dispatcher credit are available from the State 911 Department. Nursing credits are available through TEEX. Information will be provided in the course.

Class size is limited to 40 participants. This class is full. 


23 Service Center Road, Northampton, MA

10:00 am

WRHSAC Meeting on September 27, 2016 at 10am

Please note the meeting location!

Rapid Medical Response to Disturbances in Jails and Courts

8:00am to 4:00pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is sponsoring Rapid Medical Response to Disturbances in Jails & Courts Training. The second session of this training will be held at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office on January 25, 2016.

Participation is limited to 24 people, and priority will be given to Correctional Staff and Court Officers working in the four counties of western Mass.

This particular course will look at the facilities staff response to a disturbance and how to best respond to the medical emergencies that emerge from the event. This course is aimed at the Court Officers, SERT/TRT, Correctional Officers, Correctional Nurses, and their Supervisors (Sergeant, Lieutenants and Captains) that would respond to the event. In an event such as this, time is a crucial factor as well and security, and coordinating with external responding resources such as the State Police, Fire Departments and third service ambulance providers. Course participants will learn about previous cases in history, how to medically respond to the situation by treating the most severely injured and then starting the triage system to sort the injured. In most of these disturbances the injuries are going to be trauma (blunt trauma, penetrating wounds, impaled objects and hemorrhaging). This course will concentrate on treating these types of injuries and helping the provider to feel more comfortable in treating these injuries and working in the triage system.

The course will be taught by Eric Stratton of STS Consulting/Tactical EMS.

To sign up for the course please go to Go to register, fill out all the information and under comments put WCC Grant Course.

Crime Scene Preservation for First Responders

This four hour training was developed for first responders, especially fire and EMS personnel, to help understand how to identify a crime scene and how to take appropriate actions to minimize contamination whole providing patient care.  There are four session in Western Mass. being offered.  Click on the link below for more information and to be able to register.

Crime Scene Preservation for First Responders – PDF flyer

Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell Street Hadley, MA

8:00am to 4:00pm

WRHSAC & Mass Dept of Public Health present:
Children in Disasters Conference 2015 “Keeping Kids Safe”

This groundbreaking conference is designed for all emergency response professionals, planners and other professionals in western Massachusetts, who need to consider the safety and well-being of children as they plan for, respond to and recover from any all-hazard incident, disaster or event. We encourage Emergency Management Directors, Public Health officials, Mental Health providers, Physicians, Child Care providers, District Attorneys, and representatives from local Schools, Fire Departments, Police Departments, Emergency Medical Services, Hospitals, Community & Youth Organizations, and Faith-based Organizations to attend. Several nationally recognized speakers will present exciting information and lessons learned. Networking and audience participation will be key components of the day.

The conference is a kick-off event for a multi-phase WRHSAC project “Children In Disasters – Emergency Preparedness”. Using significant guidance from the speakers and conference attendees, WRHSAC will prioritize next steps for the region in this important area of whole community emergency preparedness. Your participation is vital to identifying these next steps.

Registration is closed for this event. Thank you for your interest!

Conference Presentations for download:

Speakers & Topics

“Children in Disasters” presented by Richard Serino. The Honorable Richard Serino is currently a “Distinguished Visiting Fellow” at Harvard University, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and a Senior Advisor at MIT’s Urban Risk Lab. Mr. Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 8th Deputy Administrator in October 2009 and served until 2014. Mr. Serino was on scene at the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as the highest-ranking official of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, he served as Chief of Boston Emergency Medical System and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. Mr. Serino has received numerous local, national and international awards for heroism, leadership and innovation. Mr. Serino will speak from his many years of experience in response to all-hazard incidents and the direct impact these incidents have on children. He will provide ideas for best practices and note necessary areas of preparedness relationships and planning to meet the needs of children in disasters.

“Re-uniting Families” presented by Sarita Chung, MD. Dr. Chung is Director, Disaster Preparedness Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She is a member of the Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, as well as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard School of Medicine. She is actively involved in all aspects of pediatric emergency preparedness and response, including research, teaching and clinical care. She graduated with honors from the Department of Electrical Engineering, North Carolina State University and received her MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Most importantly, Dr. Chung is the proud mother of three children (ages 13, 9 and 2).Dr. Chung will speak about re-uniting families following an all-hazard incident. She will share best practices from her direct experience and expertise.

“Role Models of Resilience: Building Hope from Despair” presented by John Woodall, MD/Psychiatrist. Dr. Woodall is Founder and Director of The Unity Project. Formerly of the faculty of Harvard Medical School, he is a Board Certified psychiatrist with a special expertise in posttraumatic stress disorder and resilience. He is Co-Founder of the Healing Arts Project working with New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development after 9/11 to build resilience in the city’s children and developed similar resilience building programming in New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and in northern Uganda working with former child soldiers. Since the Newtown tragedy, he has launched a series of resilience building efforts there. He is the Director of the Center for Global Mental Health and Resilience at Western Connecticut Health Network. Per Dr. Woodall – Resilience arises from our own vast reservoir of potential talent, what we call our “dignity.” Dr. Woodall’s presentation is on how to bring out, unite around and mobilize that dignity on a large scale. Using examples from large scale efforts to build resilient communities throughout the world, Dr. Woodall will show that the struggles of life do not have to make us victims or psychological casualties, but can be the fuel to help us become beacons of hope and role models of resilience. Practical tools will be offered to help participants’ efforts to build resilience in their communities.

“Children with Complex Medical Needs” by Deborah Clapp, BA, NREMT-P. Ms. Clapp is Program Manager of the MDPH EMS for Children Project, is a nationally-registered and Massachusetts state-certified Paramedic and Instructor-Coordinator. Prior to accepting the EMSC Manager position in 2007 she served as Department Chair and Program Director of the Greenfield Community College EMS Department and Paramedic Certificate Program for 9 years. She worked in Western Massachusetts for over 20 years as an EMT, Paramedic, Supervisor, Agency Manager, Ambulance Operations Director and film industry Set Medic following her initial certification as an EMS provider in 1984. Ms. Clapp holds numerous instructor credentials and is a frequent presenter at programs and workshops for healthcare providers and child-serving agency professionals. She is a subject matter expert in childhood injury prevention for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Child Fatality Review Team and served on the Governor’s Task Force on Children in Disasters in 2012/13. She also serves as the state liaison to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ms. Clapp will speak about an array of complex medical needs of children and considerations for preparedness and response.
“Cultural Competency” by Olivia Peters, RN. Ms. Peters is the Regional Coordinator for the Division of Global Populations & Infectious Disease Prevention. Ms. Peters will provide an overview of western MA demographics related to the immigrant/refugee population, provide general information about differences between refugees and immigrants and their differing needs, explain general cultural considerations related to intervention and sheltering of different cultural groups, discuss concerns around use of children as translators and the effects of disasters as re-traumatizing events for child refugees/immigrants, and most importantly she will suggest resources for networking ahead of time as well as during/after an event.