New Jersey Leading The Way In Disaster Response

After testing their disaster response skills in a drill that simulated a hurricane, complete with burning buildings, downed power lines and hazardous chemical spills, 14 Department of Corrections employees yesterday became the first state workers to complete a federally sponsored emergency response course.

On the rolling 750-acre campus of the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale, the group of teachers, clerks and communications specialists trained for 20 hours over a five-week period, learning everything from working a fire extinguisher to responding to terrorism.

The Community Emergency Response Team course, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was developed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, to organize and prepare volunteers to respond to disasters close to home.

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