Weather Alert:

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.

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 Safety Module
Mental Health First Aid teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse. This module is specifically designed for first responders and provides them with effective response options to de-escalate incidents without compromising safety. Two sessions of this training are scheduled.

Friday, October 6, 2017 – Agawam, MA and
Friday, November 3, 2017 – Pittsfield, MA

Reunification Training / Family Reunification Plan 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 and any agency providing services to children. Three separate sessions of this training will be held.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – Springfield College
Thursday, October 26, 2017 – Williams College
Friday, October 27, 2017 – UMass Amherst


Behavioral Analysis & Targeted Violence Workshop
This workshop is a follow up to WRHSAC’s Active Shooter Symposium held in March 2016. WRHSAC will again partner with the FBI Springfield Office. Participants will be provided with information relevant to emerging trends in incidents of targeted violence. This workshop will be appropriate for all first responder disciplines, schools and colleges, and public and private agencies.

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – UMass Amherst


Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Training

This course prepares participants to effectively, appropriately, and safely plan for and respond to a disaster incident involving children, addressing the specific needs of pediatric victims in the event of a community based-incident.  This training will be appropriate for EMDs, Emergency Planners, Public Health, School Administrators, Hospital & ER Personnel, Public Safety. This is a two-day training.

February 21 & 22, 2018 – Location TBD



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. 

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.