On Friday morning Shelby County emergency responders will be conducting a hazardous materials and train derailment exercise.  First responders have been in training with CSX railroad instructors for much of the week, and it should make for an interesting four hours.

Planning such a large full-scale event requires both disaster experience and formal exercise design training.  One of the accepted ways to do this is the Master Exercise Practitioner Program, or MEPPFEMA’s Emergency Management Institute schedules three or four MEPP courses per year at its Emmitsburg, Maryland facility.  This year’s application period runs from May 1st to July 1st, with courses beginning in October, November, December and February.

The MEPP course of instruction consists of three four-day classes held several months apart.  They must be taken in order.  Tuition, materials, lodging and transportation are generally free, but students are required to purchase meal tickets for each four day session.

For more information on the MEPP, including application information and forms, go to https://training.fema.gov/mepp/ .  For questions, contact our District 3 Emergency Coordinator, who just happens to be a Master Exercise Practitioner, or MEP!