Development, implementation and outcomes of a training program for responders to acts of terrorism

Geoffrey T. Miller*, Joseph A. Scott, S. Barry Issenberg, Emil R. Petrusa, Angel A. Brotons, David Lee Gordon, William C. McGaghie, Michael S. Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction. Responding to acts of terrorism requires the effective use of public-safety and medical-response resources. The knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to respond to future threats is unfamiliar to most emergency responders. Objectives. The purpose of this report to describe the development, implementation and evaluation of a multidisciplinary interactive and simulation-enhanced course to prepare responders to acts of terrorism. Methods. We used a 5-step systematic process to develop a blended-learning, simulation-enhanced training program. Learners completed a self-confidence questionnaire and written examination prior to the course and a self-confidence questionnaire, written examination and course evaluation when they finished the course. Results. From July 7, 2003 to March 8, 2005, 497 consenting learners completed the course. After course completion, learners demonstrated significant increases in their knowledge of terrorism response (t = -64.3, df = 496, p < 0.05) and their confidence in responding to terrorist events (t= -45.5, df = 496, p < 0.05). Learner feedback about the course was highly positive. Conclusions. We successfully implemented a two-day course for professionals likely to respond to terrorist acts that included scenario-based performance training and assessment. Course participants increased their knowledge and were more confident in their ability to respond to acts of terrorism after participating in this course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Disaster
  • EMS
  • Simulation
  • Terrorism
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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