Weather Alert:

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

9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Stop the Bleed is a nationwide campaign to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives.

This training will prepare first responders (fire, police, EMS, public health, hospitals, etc) to correctly use tourniquets on self and others, and prepare them to train colleagues and the general public on correct use of tourniquets.

Each participant will receive a combat  application tourniquet (CAT) for their personal go kit.

The training will be facilitated by Emergency Response Consulting from North Adams, MA.

5 hours of OEMS credits, including .5 NCCR Tourniquet/Hemorrhage Control requirement, are approved for this training.

A light breakfast and full lunch will be provided. Registration begins at 8:00 am. The training will begin promptly at 9:00 am.

You must be registered to attend. Please complete the form below to register. Registration will be confirmed via email.

Stop the Bleed May 17

UMass Amherst Police Department

8:30 am to 5:00 pm

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are hosting Wide Area Search & Rescue Training being held at UMass Amherst Police Department on June 6 through 8, 2017. The training is taught by Texas A&M Extension Services (TEEX).

Participants are instructed in practical search methods and skills so they can perform systematic searches over a large affected area. The training includes challenging exercises that mirror real life scenarios. The three-day long event concludes with an in-depth exercise that requires participants to utilize the skills gained during the course. The trainers delivering the course are knowledgeable, experienced emergency responders who have actively utilized wide area search techniques during some of the Nation’s largest and most challenging operations, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Gustav and Rita, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery operation, and many other incidents that required these same comprehensive strategies.


·          Preparedness & Response ·         Search Strategies & Skills
·         Search Management & Planning ·         Communication
·         Mapping ·         Team Management


Registration prioritization will be given to members of Berkshire Mountain Search & Rescue, Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, and mid to senior level commanders from Fire and Law Enforcement in western Massachusetts.

All registrants will be placed on a waitlist. Accepted participants will receive email confirmation. You must attend all three days to receive a certificate.

To express you interest in this training, please complete the following form:

Wide Area Search & Rescue Training

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 Massachusetts General Laws Open Meeting laws.

The December Pan Flu Planning meeting will be on Wednesday, December 7, at 2PM, Department of Public Health, 23 Service Center Road, Northampton, MA.

WMEMS, 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA

10:00 am

WRHSAC Meeting

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.

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 will be announced soon.

Our sincerest condolences to Ms. Moriarty’s family and dearest loved ones.

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 direction from WRHSAC and local response partners. Click here to review the toolkit and related materials.

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!

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. 

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 familiar with all the equipment that is available to be borrowed throughout western Massachusetts. The equipment is free to borrow, however some expenses may be incurred to replace used fuel, anything damaged, and anything considered expendable. Full borrowing information can be found in the downloadable resource guide.