A retired local firefighter is taking part in a unique type of training focused on responding to disasters.
Clint Green retired as a firefighter and paramedic from Northwest Fire six years ago but he's now ready to respond to any kind of disaster as part of the National Disaster Medical System.
The NDMS is a federal program that includes 5,000 professionals from across the country who have to be ready to deploy within hours when disaster strikes. The NDMS is among resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
"Our role is to supplement and augment state and local governments if they are overwhelmed during a response or a disaster or any other type of catastrophe," said Ron Miller, acting director of the NDMS.
Teams are made up of doctors, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics and various professional and logistical staff.
This week, about 55 members of the NDMS are in Alabama attending intensive training on how to assess and treat patients in a disaster, using realistic scenarios and actors who play patients.
Green has been a member of the NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team for the last nine years. He has deployed twice in that time, once to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.
"The people that we had were over 1,000 that we had to take care of in various situations," said Green. "Sickness, drug addicts, things like that."
He says the training they attend is very realistic and prepares them to carry out their mission when the time comes. Sometimes he says he will be given 24 hours notice, other times he gets two hours.
"The purpose is for us to help people, go there when there's a major disaster and we do a great job at it," said Green.