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Mental Health First Aid Training

8:30 am to 5:00 pm

WRHSAC is hosting two sessions of Mental Health First Aid Training – Public Safety Module. This is a nationally coordinated training facilitated by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Two sessions of this one day training will be held: Friday, October 6, 2017 at MEMA Region 3/4, Agawam, MA (This session is full) Friday, November 3, at Berkshire […]

Family Reunification Training

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

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 […]

Hazmat Team Training

WRHSAC provides support to Massachusetts Department of Fire Services‘ District 4 & 5 Hazmat Teams through funding for training and equipment. Last week District 4 members participated in a training on the chemistry of the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) taught by OPS15. Public Safety Multimedia was once again on the ready with his camera and captured a great […]

Upcoming Trainings & Events

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council has several exciting events and training opportunities coming up over the next several months. Mark the dates on your calendar and watch your email and this website for registration information. Registration for most of these events will be opened in September, 2017. Mental Health First Aid Training Public […]

Warm Zone Operations and Triage Training Photo Essay

On June 28 & 29, 2017 WRHSAC conducted a Warm Zone Operations and Triage Training. The training was conducted by Emergency Response Consulting and was held at The Red Barn at Hampshire College. This two-day training provided participants with performance level training in Warm Zone operations. The focus was on cross-discipline coordination on scene, particularly […]

Wide Area Search Training Photo Story

The Wide Area Search Training conducted in early June was a great success. We had 49 participants from multiple agencies including Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue, Western Mass Technical Rescue, Environmental Police, Mass State Police, UMass Amherst PD (our gracious hosts), DCR, Northwest Mass Incident Management Team, and more. Josh Shanley of Public Safety Multimedia […]

Pan Flu Planning Subcommittee Meeting Change

The WRHSAC Pan Flu Planning Subcommittee is changing their standing meeting time. The new meeting time will be at 9am on the first Tuesday of every month. This change will begin on January 3, 2017. The meeting location is Department of Public Health, 23 Service Center Road, Northampton, MA. This meeting is conducted in accordance with […]

WRHSAC Meeting

10:00 am

WRHSAC Meeting

Medical Preparedness and Response to Bombing Incidents Training

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 […]

September 20th Meetings Cancelled

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is mourning the loss of Linda Moriarty, our EMS representative, long-time member of the Council. She will be greatly missed. Funeral services for Ms. Moriarty will be held on Tuesday, September 20th. Due to this all WRHSAC meetings schedule for that day have been cancelled. A reschedule date […]

Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers Training Series

WRHSAC announces the availability of the Spontaneous and Unaffiliated Volunteer (SUV) Training Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to provide the resources necessary to effectively plan for and safely operate a volunteer management system based on the Incident Command System (ICS).  This planning and training series was developed by Berkshire Regional Planning Commission under guidance and […]

No August Meetings

All standing August meetings of the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council have been cancelled. This includes: WRHSAC, Training & Exercise subcommittee, Pan Flu Planning Subcommittee, and the Western Massachusetts Regional Interoperability Committee. Regular meeting schedule resumes in September. Have a happy summer!

Pediatric Psychological First Aid Training

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 […]

Interactive Resource Map

WRHSAC has updated our interactive resource/equipment map. This online map provides quick information regarding WRHSAC purchased equipment, including a brief description of the equipment, equipment location, and contact information to borrow the equipment. You can filter displayed equipment by location or by equipment type. The interactive map is a great tool to use to become […]

WRHSAC & FBI Host Active Shooter Symposium

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), hosted an informational symposium on active shooter incidents in March at the Deerfield Academy. More than 600 people from throughout western Massachusetts representing multiple disciplines including, law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, hospitals, schools, colleges and businesses, attended the event. […]

Active Shooter Awareness Symposium

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 […]

Medical Management of CBRNE Incidents Training

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 […]

WRHSAC Meeting

10:00 am

WRHSAC Meeting on September 27, 2016 at 10am Please note the meeting location!

Emerging Threats Training for Public Health Officials

  Across the Commonwealth, hazardous materials response calls are increasingly a result of drug production related hazards and homemade explosives, include small scale, in-home operations. First responders are regularly the first on the scene and due to the emerging nature of drug and explosive production, are often unaware of the hazards that are present and […]

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 […]

NBREPC wins FEMA award

Our friends and partners of the Northern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee received an FEMA 2015 Individual and Community Preparedness Heroes Award for their regional based work. Members of the REPC went to Washington DC to receive the award. In the nomination application for the award, NBREPC acknowledges their work with the Western Region Homeland Security […]

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 […]

Children in Disasters Conference 2015: Keeping Kids Safe

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, […]

Social Media Policy

In this week’s module of re-visiting our Social Media and Emergency Management Training you will learn about creating  a social media policy for your organization.

What is Social Media?

Module two of our Social Media for Emergency Management Training is up. Check out our Facebook page and take the module. Let us know if you learn anything!

Social Media & Emergency Management Training

Module 1 of our Social Media and Emergency Management Training is up on Facebook. Click here to check it out.

Social Media and Emergency Management Training

Over the course of the next few months WRHSAC is revamping the Social Media and Emergency Management (SMEM) training project. This will be done on a module by module basis and includes information for individuals specifically targeted to the needs of the Western Massachusetts first response and emergency management community. Each module emphasizes the why […]

Public Information Officer / Joint Information System Training

8:00am to 4:00pm

Using a Joint Information System to Support Response The Second in a Series of Interactive Training Workshops for Experienced Public Information Officers Facilitated by Susan Santos, PhD, MS, national expert in Risk Communications and Public Information and Burt Peretsky, FOCUS GROUP Consultants Recent emergencies and exercises in the region have demonstrated the critical need to […]

EOC Operations & Planning Training

8am to 4pm

EOC Planning and Operations is a three-day Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services course which focuses on the core functions, processes and best practices necessary to ensure effective and repeatable performance of an emergency operations center at any level. The core functions and process are reviewed and demonstrated via facilitated discussion and computer enhanced scenario exercises. […]

Multi-Agency Coordination Center Phase II is complete

WRHSAC has recently completed Phase II of its Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MACC) project. This phase established a pilot regionally based MACC in Berkshire County. Follow this link to learn more and review the documents created in this phase.

Western Massachusetts Community Organizations Active In Disasters Summit

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council will host the second Community Organizations Active Disasters Summit on Thursday, April 30 at the UMass Center in Springfield. Click here to register. The event is free. The Western Massachusetts Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) Summit provides an excellent opportunity for emergency personnel to learn about the wealth of non-governmental, ready-to-serve organizations […]

UMass Hampshire MRC Exercise in the news

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports on the upcoming large scale UMass / Hampshire MRC shelter exercise. More than 275 people are expected to participate. WRHSAC is providing funds to support the exercise. To read the article click here.

WRHSAC Anti-Terrorism Tabletop Exercise Series 2015

8:00 to 3:00 pm

The WRHSAC Anti-Terrorism Exercise Series 2015 will bring together the four counties of western Massachusetts to improve preparedness for and response to a terrorist threat. Four tabletop exercises will be held, one in each county. Save the date for your county: Berkshire County, Wednesday, April 8, 2015, Country Club of Pittsfield, 639 South St., Pittsfield, […]

COAD Summit 2015

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council has set the date for its Community Organizations Active in Disasters Summit 2015. The summit will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the UMass Center at Tower Sqaure in Springfield, MA. Workshops for both community organizations and emergency management are being arranged and will likely include: […]

Medical Management of CBRNE Events Training

8:00am to 5:00pm

WRHSAC is conducting Medical Management of CBRNE Events Training on March 10 & 11, 2015 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 […]

Hazmat Emerging Trends for First Responders

Homemade explosives and clandestine drug production incidents are increasing throughout the Commonwealth. Police, Fire, EMS and Public Health are often the first to encounter these operations. This training will provide guidance on how to identify these hazards, what agencies to call and how to protect themselves and the public. The following topics will be discussed: […]

On-Line Shelter Training

Over the last three years, WRHSAC has developed and helped entities implement a Regional Shelter Plan. This comprehensive plan provides Job Action Sheets, Standard Operating Guides, Forms and more. WRHSAC has developed an on-line training with individual modules for each job associated with operating a shelter. The training is free and accessible for anyone to […]

Emergency Rest Center Guide

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council has shared the recently completed Emergency Rest Center Guide and other related templates. These documents are a result of the latest work of WRHSAC’s  Faith Community Partnering for Emergency Preparedness project. The Emergency Rest Center guide can be adapted by any Faith Based or other organizations that are […]

Handheld GPS Unit Caches Established

WRHSAC rolls out handheld GPS Unit Caches.GPS Units. Caches will be available beginning May 12, 2014. For more information, click here.

Public Safety Field Day – Touch A Truck

10:00am to 2:00pm


Faith Community Rest Centers

Thank you to for publishing this article on WRHSAC’s Faith Community Partnering for Emergency Preparedness Emergency Rest Center project.

Western Mass Tech Rescue Team

The Western Massachusetts Tech Rescue Team continues to take formation. WRHSAC has supported the development of the team with funds for both training and equipment. The Hampshire Gazette recently caught up with the team during a training day in Northampton. The article can be found here.

Regional Tech Rescue Team

WGGB ran a good story about the Franklin County Tech Rescue and how it has lead to the formation of the Regional Tech Rescue Team. The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) has provided funds to the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association to conduct both Rope Rescue Training and Confined Space Rescue training […]

WRHSAC Funded Hazmat Training & Equipment Used in Response

The Massachusetts District Four Hazardous Material Response Team provided the summary which follows detailing how both training and equipment purchased by the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council greatly assisted the HazMat Team in their response to the recent train derailment in West Springfield. Thank you to Captain John Dearborn of Longmeadow Fire Department for […]

Food Bank of Westen Ma Emergency Food Networks

In preparation for the potential severe weather threat from Winter Storm NEMO, the Food Bank of Western Ma has shared their Emergency Food Networks list for each county with their emergency planning / preparedness partners. The Food Bank encourages responders to direct people to these resources if the need arises. Download the pdfs: Berkshire County […]

MEMA Initiative Update for EMDs

Several Times, See post for specifics

  THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. NEW DATE YET TO BE DETERMINED The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is currently engaged in two important initiatives: developing a multi-year strategic plan for the agency and the overall statewide emergency management program, and developing a statewide mass care and shelter coordination plan. In addition, MEMA is evaluating […]

Sheltering Equipment End User Video

The Council has created a video to help first responders and municipal officials understand the borrowing procedure for the Emergency Sheltering Equipment Trailers that are located throughout Western Mass. You can find the video on the Resources page.  

Disaster Behavorial Health Training Series

The Center for Multicultural Mental Health (CMMH) at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and the Emergency Preparedness Bureau at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) is offering  free trainings on disaster behavioral health for public health, healthcare, public safety, and other disaster response personnel throughout […]

BearCat Armored Vehicle

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council provided funds for the BearCat Armored response vehicle. The Bearcat is housed in Pittsfield and operated by the Berkshire Special Response Team. The Bearcat was recently presented to western Massachusetts law enforcement agencies at a trade show in Holyoke. See the article of that event here.  

TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc Emergency Action Plans

7-9 pm

The Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee invites you to attend a presentation of the TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc Emergency Action Plan by a representative of TransCanada. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. Refreshments will be provided. To submit any questions you would like answered that night by November 8 or […]

2012 Statewide Public Assistance Program/ Debris Management Conference

8:30am - 4:00pm

 The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is pleased to announce the offering of the 2012 Statewide Public Assistance Program/ Debris Management Conference. This FREE Public Assistance Program/Debris Management Conference will offer guidance and best practices on FEMA’s Public Assistance Program – including debris management – within the first 72 hours of an emergency and beyond. Intended audience includes state […]

National Guard’s Role in Aid and Assistance to Towns

5:00 pm

The Hampshire County Select Boards Association will be holding a meeting at the Hatfield American Legion on December 6, 2012, beginning at 5 pm. Lt. Col. Martin Spellacy, Commanding Officer of the Massachusetts National Guard, will give a presentation on the role of the National Guard in providing aid and assistance to cities and towns […]

New Training Equipment Available!

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council has purchased four SmartDummy Training Mannequins and a Smoke Generator for first responders to utilize in their trainings, drills and exercises. More information about this training equipment and how to request it for your upcoming training is available here.

Formidable Footprint – Massachusetts – A Community / Neighborhood Exercise

9:30am - 10:30am

The Formidable Footprint exercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols. The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community / Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the […]

Social Media’s Role During a Crisis

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Business interruptions happen every day across the United States. Some may be small such as a server failure; others may be catastrophic such as tornadoes or floods. Regardless of the event, business owners are often faced with difficult decisions in the aftermath of the storm. Join the US Small Business Administration and co‐sponsor Agility Recovery […]

Let’s Make a Plan

1:30pm - 3:00pm

Learn how to prepare for emergencies by developing a plan ahead of time.

West Springfield MRC – Whole Community Preparedness Meeting

6:00 am - 7:45 am

Please come to a meeting of the West Springfield Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to learn how to volunteer to be active in emergency response and preparedness in your community. Specific topics will include the emergency training schedule for upcoming months, a table top exercise, distribution of MRC t‐shirts to registered volunteers, and a question and […]

Springfield Get Ready Day

10:00am - 2:00pm

Join the City of Springfield and Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services in celebrating Springfield Get Ready Day. The event will include a mobile shelter for view and information about pet protection and survival. Flu shots will also be available. The ceremony will take place in Court Square Park in Springfield. For more information, […]

SBREPC Monthly Emergency Planning Meeting

7:30am - 8:30am

The South Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee (SBREPC) will hold its monthly meeting in the Conference room on the ground floor of Fairview Hospital. For more information contact Heather Barbieri at

Ludlow Emergency Preparedness Senior Training

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Director of Nurses for the Ludlow Board of Health, Francine Rusiecki, will conduct the training for seniors and senior caregivers about being prepared for an emergency. For more information contact 413‐583‐5600.

Webinar: Protecting Your Organization by Preparing Your Employees

2:00 - 3:00pm

The United States Small Business Administration will be hosting a webinar on how small businesses can train their employees for emergency preparedness. Without question, most businesses will admit their most important assets are their employees. However many take little action to help their employees and families prepare for, and recover from disasters. While data recovery […]

Chicopee SNS Workshop for City Staff and Volunteers

6:00pm - 9:00pm

The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a federal emergency response program managed collaboratively by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The SNS consists of pharmaceuticals and other medical materiel that states can request in the event of a public health emergency, such as pandemic […]

FEMA Online Course: A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance


The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency presents “A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance,” an independent study course that provides a basic understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the local community, State, and the federal government in providing disaster assistance. It is appropriate for both the general public and those involved in emergency management […]

Western Mass Ready at the Franklin County Fair

Sept 7-9

Come visit the Western Mass Ready booth at the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield this weekend. On Thursday, the gates open at 3:00 p.m. Learn tips on preparing for emergencies and pick up your free LED flashlight key chain! For questions, please contact: Alyssa Larose, Franklin Regional County of Governments at Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September […]

The Top 10 Steps to Prepare Any Organization for a Disaster

2:00 - 3:00pm

What would you do if a fire, flood, server malfunction or health pandemic occurred at your office? If you had 15 minutes to evacuate, what would you take and where would you go? How would you continue servicing your clients? Think it can’t happen to you? Statistics show that 94% of small business owners believe […]

Westfield Emergency Planning Committee Meeting

9:00 - 10:30am

The Westfield Emergency Planning Committee will run its regularly scheduled meeting. The Committee consists of representation from Local Businesses, School Department, Fire Department, Police Department, Gas and Electric, Public Health, Senior Center, Local Hospitals, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Westfield State College, Business Development and the Massachusetts National Guard. If you are […]

Western Mass Ready at the 3-County Fair

September 1-3, 2012

Come visit the Western Mass Ready booth at the 3‐County Fair in Northampton. Learn tips on preparing for emergencies and pick up your free LED flashlight key chain! For questions, please contact: Josiah Neiderbach, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission at

Western Mass Continuity Workshop

8am to 12pm

The Federal Executive Association of Western Massachusetts (FEAWM) and the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Region I are pleased to invite you to the Western Mass Continuity Workshop. The Workshop will be conducted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 from 8:00am to 12:00pm.  Registration will begin at 7:30am.  The workshop will be held at Holyoke Community College, […]

Northeast Homeland Security Council Newsletter

Recent newsletter from Northeast Homeland Security Council.  

Greenfield Public Safety Day

10am to 2pm

The Greenfield Public Safety Day will be held on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 from 10am till 2pm at the Greenfield Fire Station. The event is sponsored by the City of Greenfield. The emphasis of this day is health and safety as partners in the delivery of public safety in Greenfield. The Health Department will conduct a flu […]

Quarterly Meeting: Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC)

3:30pm to 5:30pm

The Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC) quarterly meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm at the  Franklin County Jail. The meeting agenda will be posted closer to the meeting date at For more information, please contact Tracy Rogers at 413-774-3167 x118 or

Social Media for Emergency Management Training

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council is sponsoring a training “Social Media for Emergency Management.” This course will provide participants with practical, hands on experience to incorporate Social Media tools into Emergency Management. The full day course will take place on Friday, September 21, at the Hotel Northampton, Northampton MA. Shorter versions for those who […]

Council Member Honored with Award

Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council member, Melissa Nazzaro honored with the Jeff Grossman 9-1-1 Award. Nazzaro serves as the public safety communications representative on WRHSAC. Read the full story on

WRHSAC Launches New Websites

Today, the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) launched its new websites and