SOCORRO, N.M., December 13, 2001 -- Two nationally recognized educational training programs at New Mexico universities -- one in first-responder training, the other in emergency medicine -- have formed a partnership to provide emergency medical personnel with specialized training for situations involving explosives or possible exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, or other environmental agents.
Top administrators from New Mexico Tech and the University of New Mexico have formally announced the establishment of the Emergency Medical Support Training Program--a collaborative effort between the two state universities which will draw on the expertise of variety of faculty members and researchers at both institutions.
Initially, courses offered through the training program will be made available through the Internet, interactive television, CD ROMs, and other distance education methods to emergency medical personnel associated with various federal government programs associated with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Longer-term plans include expanding the scope of the Emergency Medical Support Training Program to allow it to reach an ever-increasing constituency of emergency medical staff and emergency management decision makers, including those employed by other federal agencies, as well as state and local governments.
Through its First Responders Training Program, New Mexico Tech currently teaches first responders, such as fire fighters and law enforcement personnel, how to effectively handle and investigate emergency situations involving explosions or potential acts of terrorism, including biological, chemical, and nuclear threats.
In turn, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine is a recognized educational leader in basic and clinical medicine, particularly in emergency medicine programs such as disaster medicine, infectious diseases, poison control and information,
and emergency medical support.
The Emergency Medical Support Training Program is being initiated through $2 million of federal funding provided by DOE's Emergency Operations Training Academy at Kirtland Air Force Base.
A host of university administrators, government officials, political leaders, and other dignitaries attended the announcement ceremony for the new Emergency Medical Support Training Program, including New Mexico Tech President Daniel H. López; UNM Vice President for Health Sciences R. Philip Eaton, M.D.; DOE Office of Emergency Operations Director John M. McBroom; and U.S. Senator Pete Domenici.