LSU NCBRT/ACE offers Training via Zoom to Combat COVID-19

February 03, 2021

 Baton Rouge - The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to challenge populations worldwide on a monumental scale. The country remains stretched to unprecedented limits to combat the novel coronavirus.

In response, LSU’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education (NCBRT/ACE) has developed The Biological Incidents Awareness: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) AWR-324 course to provide emergency management and response professionals with the necessary knowledge to better prevent, plan, prepare and respond to the pandemic.

 The course prepares participants to better understand COVID-19, to know how to protect themselves during the pandemic, and to identify outside factors, including information control and public messaging, which will require their attention. The course provides a brief overview of the novel coronavirus, including specific information about symptoms, transmission, personal protective measures, and scene control. It is taught by a team composed of medical or public health personnel and emergency responders. Additional topics include disease types and outbreak history, prevention and universal precaution, self-decontamination and containment.

 Thanks to this course and other training material developed by LSU NCBRT/ACE, emergency preparedness agencies, law enforcement and medical personnel are utilizing LSU NCBRT/ACE information in a variety of ways in response to COVID-19.

 Jennifer Chatfield has been an instructor with LSU NCBRT/ACE for more than 10 years. She is a veterinarian who is board certified in zoo and wildlife medicine, as well as preventive medicine covering infectious disease and public administration in disaster preparedness and response. Chatfield said during her time teaching the course, she has seen the impact it has made on participants.

 “What is encouraging is the interest level of the participants,” Chatfield said. “The responder community is a mixed group of public health officials, firefighters, law enforcement, etc. and for some of them, it’s the first time they are hearing about what to do about COVID response. They are thankful that we are giving them all of this information about the virus and the disease. They feel like they have a good understanding of this virus and its transmission.”

 Since the first delivery in September 2020, LSU NCBRT/ACE has delivered 40 classes training more than 1500 participants. To meet the scheduling needs and the demand for the class, LSU NCBRT/ACE delivers this virtual, live instructor-led training via the Zoom platform. State, local, tribal and territorial agencies and departments are able to host their own classes via Zoom to receive training for their personnel. LSU NCBRT/ACE also schedules and hosts several national enrollment classes via Zoom for emergency responder students nationwide to register and attend independently.

 The national enrollment classes are being offered up to three times weekly, making this vital training more accessible than ever. LSU NCBRT/ACE instructor Alyssa Van Story, a certified emergency manager (CEM), said accessibility is key to helping participants gain valuable information about biological incidents.

 “This course gives a very good explanation of what this pandemic is and people really need that right now,” Van Story explained. “They need to know the simple concepts because there is so much misinformation out there which creates a lot of anxiety. They learn how much damage misinformation can do. So, we are able to teach them about what this is, what the mask does for you, etc. It’s unbelievably beneficial.”

 Organizations across the country have reported positive feedback from the hosting agencies and participants. They agree the information has not only been valuable, but expertly introduced as well.

 “The presentation was so professional,” said Ramon Terrazas, Lieutenant Special Operations with the New Mexico State Police. “It covered all the information in a meaningful way. The instructors were knowledgeable and very professional. The support staff was very helpful in scheduling and they did a tremendous job. We’ve had such a good experience with NCBRT, we haven’t looked anywhere else for our trainings.”

 Currently, there are six other LSU NCBRT/ACE courses available via Zoom. In addition to those courses, LSU NCBRT/ACE has developed COVID-19 related videos, podcasts, webinars, and job aides that offer valuable information and materials for combating the current pandemic.

 “The task of LSU NCBRT/ACE is to provide high quality training to our state, local, territorial, and tribal partners,” LSU NCBRT/ACE Director Jeff Mayne said. “Early in the COVID-19 response, a number of policies and protocols were being produced to guide responder safety. We realized that minimal information was available to assist those on the front lines trying to navigate this devastating pandemic. The training products we have developed during the pandemic have focused on providing responders with the necessary information to protect themselves, their co-workers, and their families. Our Biological Incidents Awareness: Coronavirus Disease course does that and is now in extremely high demand. The LSU NCBRT/ACE team of staff and instructors will continue to develop innovative ways to train our nation’s responders and those who must deal with this unprecedented set of events.”

 To learn more about the LSU NCBRT/ACE virtual trainings, videos and podcasts that are available, please visit our website at



LSU NCBRT/ACE is a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We provide mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community. LSU NCBRT/ACE has expertise in research, development and delivery of training in the areas of specialized law enforcement operations; biological incident response; food and agriculture safety and security; school safety; and instructional design and technique. For more information visit: