Boston Emergency Responders Trained in TEEX Bomb Prep Course

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The Boston emergency responders have been praised for how quickly they were able to take control of the situation yesterday, and get victims the help they needed.

That's thanks, in part, to the training those Boston agencies received from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service's National Emergency Response and Rescue Center..

TEEX officials say their instructors went to Boston several times last year to teach this DHS FEMA funded class specifically focused on responding to a mass casualty bombing incident. The most recent class was this past December.

The class teaches students how to apply the emergency response training they already have to mass casualty situations. It also gives them a chance to practice in simulated bombing scenarios.

The program is called Medical Preparedness and Response to Bombing Incidents. In the class, students learn everything from how bombs are made, to how to treat injuries commonly sustained in bombings.

"We send everything out there, the instructors and the materials," said Rebecca Tate, Training Manager of the National Emergency Response & Rescue Training Center at TEEX.

"This is not something we would ever want to see, but we hope that the training they've had on specific incidents and building those partnerships has helped them be better prepared, and hopefully the reduced the loss of the life for the incident," said Tate.

Ernie Whitener, a TEEX training specialist, taught the course in Boston in December. He says nothing can truly prepare someone for a tragedy like a mass casualty incident, but Boston handled the pressure well.

"We call it controlled chaos out there, so there was controlled chaos...they knew what they were doing. They were very professional in what occurred," said Whitener.

The Boston Police Department, emergency management, EMS, as well as representatives from several hospitals across the city have participated in four bomb response courses in the past year, according to TEEX officials.

TEEX partners with New Mexico Tech to teach the bomb preparedness class. TEEX's National Emergency Response and Rescue training Center trains more than 20,000 first responders across the country each year.