Patrick Chambers from Heartland Independent Living Center recently completed the weeklong Instructor Training Certification (ITC) training course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala.

The CDP is operated by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation.

Chambers is the executive director of Heartland Independent Living Center which serves Franklin, Gasconade and Maries counties. He is the chairperson of the Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council (MOSILC).

He chairs both the training and emergency management committees of the gubernatorial-appointed council. MOSILC is the lead agency for the Governor’s Faith-Based and Community Service Partnership for Disaster Recovery project to educate emergency management personnel and entities in the state on Missouri’s Functional Assessment Support Teams (FAST), a key element in the Department of Justice-mandated Functional Needs Support Services (FNSS).

The Heartland executive director began advocating for emergency preparedness and response training for individuals with disabilities while employed as the director of services for Independent Living at On My Own, Inc., the Center for Independent Living in Nevada, Mo. Chambers is volunteering with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the Governor’s Faith-Based Partnership, in FNSS concept trainings across the state.

The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers and other government officials from state, local and tribal governments.

The CDP offers more than 50 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. Training at the CDP campus is federally funded at no cost to state, local and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency.

Responders participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events.