The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) and the Department of Energy’s Counter Terrorism Operations Support (CTOS) Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training provided a primary screening class to Securing the Cities (STC), New Orleans from July 25-29, 2022. As a follow-up, a Train-the-Trainer course was provided from August 22-24, 2022. Representatives from the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Fire Department, Harbor Police, and Tulane University Police participated in the training.
The Primary Screener/Personal Radiation Detector (PRD) training focuses on the performance of preliminary radiological assessment with a PRD. The course includes operating a PRD to detect radiation, locate a source, measure radiation levels, assess the threat status of a situation, categorize threats, and adjudicate alarms. The Train-the-Trainer course provides state and local personnel with the certification to further deliver the primary screener/PRD training to fellow state and local first responders. With the completion of this training, more than 200 PRDs are in operation daily within the New Orleans area.
The STC program was launched as a pilot project in July 2006 in New York City. The CWMD Act of 2018 authorized and expanded the program to help high-risk urban areas protect their communities from terrorist attacks and other high-consequence events with radiological or nuclear (R/N) materials. Through cooperative agreements with the partnering urban areas, DHS provides R/N detection equipment, training, exercise support, and technical support. New Orleans joined the list of STC cities in 2020.
The Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium. The CTOS Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training at the NNSS develops and conducts training courses for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Since September 11, 2001, more than 268,000 first responders have been trained on CTOS developed curriculum. Today, the various CTOS programs meet the training and education needs of more than 20,000 emergency responders in state, local, tribal, and territorial governments each year, protecting the nation from a potential radiological or nuclear weapon of mass destruction.
CWMD continues to support our communities and keep them safe by serving as the DHS’s focal point for countering weapons of mass destruction efforts. By supporting operational partners across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, CWMD coordinates DHS efforts to safeguard the United States against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.