Dozens of state employees who prepare emergency responders for catastrophic events were recently laid off due to the state’s budget shortfall. The Texas Engineering Extension Service’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC), located in College Station on the campus of Texas A & M University, dropped from a staff of 57 to just 15.
The 42 people who lost their jobs, which represent administrative, support and management staff, will receive 60 days of severance pay. Notice of the reduction in force was given earlier this week. Since its inception in 1998, the center has trained more than 278,000 emergency responders and community officials for natural disasters, man-made accidents and terrorist attacks.
The Training Center was established to enhance the capabilities of emergency responders and local officials to prepare for, respond to, and recover from catastrophic events resulting from natural events, man-made accidents, or terrorist attacks. Congressionally mandated and partially funded by the U.S. Congress, NERRTC was the founding member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium. Since its inception, NERRTC has provided local, state, and federal jurisdictions with high-quality, hands-on, scenario-driven leadership training, exercises, technical assistance, and strategy development.