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UMFK to host National Terrorism Preparedness Institute Broadcasts

February 28, 2003


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will be hosting regular broadcasts from the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute (NTPI), a department of the Southeastern Public Safety Institute of St. Petersburg College in Florida.

The first broadcast from the video news magazine, Consequence Management News, Equipment, and Training (CoMNET), will be aired live on Wednesday, February 26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room on the UMFK campus.

The broadcast will cover the Incident Command System and the application of Unified Command to a weapons of mass destruction incident, including the integration of federal, state, and local agencies.

CoMNET is broadcast every other month and provides a diverse compilation of segments including news stories collected from around the country, features on preparedness and response, and training events.

Other segments will include a visit to the National Law Enforcement and Correction's Technology Center in Denver, Colorado to focus on communications interoperability and the difficulties that often occur when different agencies and jurisdictions try to communicate with one another; and a visit to The Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to discuss their role in homeland defense and how they aid first responders.

In addition to future CoMNET broadcasts, the UMFK campus will host real time broadcasts of the NTPI's Live Response Program, also available every other month. Upcoming topics for these shows will be the Unified Command System, in March and Pre-Positioned Equipment Programs, in May of 2003. The broadcasts will include a combination of features and call in discussions with a panel of experts.

The mission of the NTPI is to prepare the Nation's civilian and military first responders in dealing with terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction. Clientele for NTPI broadcasts are not limited to traditional responders such as police, fire and emergency medical technicians. In an unannounced bio-weapons incident, hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices will become the first responders. Other responders that need to be included in this group include electrical and water utilities and public works.

"The addition of the NTPI broadcasts will compliment the classes UMFK is offering in the Rural Public Safety Administration program, and also become a real-time source of information for not only the UMFK family but the entire St. John Valley community," said Allen Shoaff, assistant professor of public safety administration at UMFK. "This public service gives all of us the opportunity to view these important and informative programs never before seen on local and national TV."

The two programs are sponsored by the Department of Justice's Office for Justice Programs, the Office for Domestic Preparedness, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Both the CoMNET and Live Response programs are produced by the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute.

"Our ability to provide a state of the art facility to receive these broadcasts, including the ability to link with real time message boards via the internet, fits with our university's mission and the goals of our Rural Public Safety Administration program," said Donald Eno, academic outreach coordinator at UMFK.

Professionals may obtain CEUs for successful completion of NTPI programs. For more information regarding credits, contact NTPI toll free at 877-257-3182, or Allen Shoaff at UMFK, extension 563.

To register for the free broadcast training opportunities contact Eno at UMFK's Academic Outreach office, at 834-7835.