On behalf of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) seeks funding to train instructors to disseminate the national curriculum developed by the National Committee on Emergency Response for training cultural organizations to respond to disasters. This curriculum marks a significant development in disaster training because of its comprehensiveness, its multidisciplinary approach, its integration of civil and government resources, and its focus on the full range of materials found in humanities collections.
Ten qualified professionals would participate in an intensive four-day "Train the Trainers" course taught by leaders in the field of disaster training. Each of the five pairs of trainers, mentored by one of the course's two instructors, would subsequently teach a three-day workshop on emergency response for guardians of cultural property. These workshops would be hosted by organizations active in emergency response and would be sited throughout North America in order to promote regional expertise and resources.
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), the national membership organization of conservation professionals, has led recognition of hazard mitigation and emergency response. It is an original member of the National Task Force on Emergency Response convened by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Getty Conservation Institute and Heritage Preservation. As chair of its Working Group on Training for Cultural Organizations, it has been instrumental in developing a national curriculum to enable cultural organizations to respond effectively during the first forty-eight hours following an emergency. After identifying the curriculum, audience, and content it gathered a group of experienced conservators, archivists, archaeologists, curators, and administrators to review and revise the proposed curriculum. Using the revised materials, the US Army's J.F.K Special Warfare Museum successfully hosted the Pilot Emergency Response Workshop in March, 1999.
Support of this project would foster the development of a geographically and professionally diverse group of ten trainers and seventy-five responders. It would significantly increase the number of organizations and individuals capable of responding to a regional disaster. It would create a group able to teach emergency response techniques appropriate for salvaging a broad range of cultural property, using a curriculum that is distinguished by its recognition that effective preservation of humanities collections is accomplished by addressing all aspects of their institutional context. The project would include hands-on teaching experience for the trainers and, as a result of that training, create five regional groups that would each consist of fifteen trained responders. Most important of all, the project would build multi-disciplinary teams to help preserve humanities collections threatened by disaster.