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The FRCOG serves as fiduciary for the Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC).  WRHSAC was formed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in 2004. WRHSAC is charged with administering the State Homeland Security Grant for the four counties of western Massachusetts.

As fiduciary, FRCOG provides WRHSAC with program management; project facilitation and oversight; meeting administration and support; fiscal administration; and serves as a representative of WRHSAC in local, regional and state meetings and events.

WRHSAC Website
Details

The Western Massachusetts Region Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) is a seventeen member, volunteer Council charged by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to administer and coordinate the State Homeland Security Grant for the four counties of Western Massachusetts: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden. Funded activities are regional in scope and build and enhance capabilities that enable the region to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risks.

The WRHSAC focuses on seven major areas:

  • Support the Department of Homeland Security Nexus of prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic and foreign terrorists’ incidents
  • Enhance information and intelligence sharing and communications
  • Address emerging threats
  • Provide multi-discipline, multi-jurisdictional trainings and exercises and
  • Provide regional resources and assets to be utilized in emergency incidents and planned events

The members represent the first responder disciplines as identified by the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Services
  • Public Health
  • Emergency Management
  • Public Safety Communications
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Regional Transit
  • Public Works
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional Services
  • Local Government
  • K-12 Education
  • Higher Education
Current Projects and Events

WRHSAC is offering more sessions of Nero’s Law Training, which allows and requires EMS departments to treat and transport Law Enforcement K-9’s injured in the line of duty. Recent sessions were held at UMass Amherst and at Baystate Health Education Center in Holyoke. The training is free to EMS providers.

Two more days of the practical session of Nero’s Law Training are open for registration:

  • Berkshire Community College on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Sessions are at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.
  • Ja’Duke theater in Turners Falls on Saturday, January 13, 2024. Sessions will be at 9am, 11am and 1pm.

Learn More and Register

WRHSAC produced the following video during Nero’s training sessions conducted in Berkshire County. The video provides an overview of Nero’s Law and the training.

Resources

Learning

WRHSAC has established an Online Learning site. The site allows WRHSAC to offer free, online, self-paced trainings. Current topics include:

  • Emergency Sheltering
  • How to Be an Effective Spokesperson
  • Introduction to Building Healthy Workplaces
  • Message Mapping
  • Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Training
  • NPI Quick Implementation Guide
WRHSAC Online Learning Portal
Publications

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) include a wide variety of layered, non-medical harm reduction strategies such as isolation and quarantine, enhanced hygiene, protective equipment, and social distancing which mitigate the hazards and…

The Western Region Homeland Security Councils’ “Preparedness in a Pandemic” planning considerations workshop kit is adapted from operational guidance developed by both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Massachusetts Emergency Management…

Communities have tremendous responsibility for managing and coordinating emergency response. During the early stages of an emergency it is very difficult to develop timely, effective and consistent public messages. In…

Staff
Raine Brown headshot.

Raine Brown

Homeland Security Program Manager

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Rachel Mason headshot.

Rachel Mason

Homeland Security Program Assistant

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Boards and Committees

WRHSAC Committees meet monthly, and are open to the public.  Learn more about the committees through the links below, and visit the WRHSAC meetings and events calendar.

WRHSAC Meetings and Event Calendar
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