Primedia adds first-responder training

Primedia's Homeland One

Primedia Workplace Learning LLP, which provides training courses to first responders mostly through satellite and other electronic means, has unveiled a homeland security module that will offer standardized training for fire, police and emergency medical workers.

Homeland One will be added to existing satellite subscriptions at no extra cost. Subscriptions are priced at $2,800 for one site for the first year, including the cost of a satellite dish and decoder device, and $2,100 annually thereafter, said Bryan Mossey, vice president of the Homeland One division.

Current and new agencies, which subscribe to their specific content, will also get the homeland security training courses that will be common in the first responder community.

"We're really moving to a more flexible model that allows us to deliver content not just by satellite, but on demand," Mossey said.

That's especially important for dealing with emergencies, he said. For example, if a smallpox outbreak occurs in a community, first responders needing quick information can view that training video immediately.

The inaugural core curricula are based on guidelines issued by the Homeland Security Department's Office for Domestic Preparedness.

In the ensuing months, Homeland One will offer a series of courses related to incident command systems, hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. The company is also working with the office to review the curricula and possibly get an official seal of approval, Mossey added.

The idea took shape about three years ago, before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said, when the company realized it was well positioned to offer "high-quality, low-cost training" to communities. He said Homeland One's largest audience is probably the smaller first responder agencies that don't have the financial resources or the time to take someone off duty for training.

Available through the General Services Administration schedule contracts system, prices can go up with customized training, video-on-demand services and access or use of a learning management system, Mossey said, adding that the programs are shown over a triple-encrypted network.

The company also offers alternative delivery mechanisms for training, including the Web, videotape, CD-ROM or a workbook. It also provides face-to-face instructor-led training.

Primedia Workplace Learning already offers about 140,000 hours of content — for example, bloodstain patterns analysis and forensic storage fundamentals — specifically geared for fire, law enforcement, health and private security professionals, Mossey said.

The company trains roughly two million first responders annually and its satellites are deployed at 5,000 sites, he said, adding that it completes 25,000 monthly certifications. Mossey said the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) also use the company's training.

Primedia Workplace Learning in Carrollton, Texas, is a division of Primedia Inc., a New York-based media company best known for its consumer and niche magazines and Channel One Network, which provides news and educational programs to 12,000 secondary schools nationwide.

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