Northwestern conducts emergency training exercise

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Northwestern conducts emergency training exercise

August 5, 2010

 Emergency Training Exercise
Northwestern vice presidents Steve Lohmann, David Pecha and Brad Franz discuss Northwestern's response to a mock campus emergency during a training exercise on Aug. 5.

 Emergency Training Exercise
Alva Fire Chief Kirk Trekell and Health and Safety Officer Kevin Fields discuss the situation during an emergency training exercise at Northwestern Oklahoma State University on Aug. 5.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University, with the cooperation of local emergency management agencies, conducted an emergency training exercise on its Alva Campus Thursday afternoon.

The exercise, operated under the structure of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), tested Northwestern’s ability to react to a campus emergency using the Incident Command System (ICS). Elements of the ICS include multi-agency coordination and command in responding to an emergency and the establishment of a public information system.

The exercise involved the response to an explosion in the Student Center. In addition to Northwestern Campus Police and administration, other agencies involved in the exercise included the Alva Police Department, Alva Fire Department, Alva Emergency Medical Services, Woods County Sheriff’s Office and Woods County Emergency Management.

NIMS was developed by the Department of Homeland Security to provide a consistent, nationwide approach that enables governments and agencies to work together to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic incidents.

Following the school shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007, Gov. Brad Henry formed the Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force. A major goal of the task force is for all of Oklahoma’s college and university campuses to fully implement NIMS training by Dec. 1, 2010.

Key Northwestern personnel have completed various levels of NIMS training since the fall of 2009.

At the conclusion of the exercise, university personnel and other participating agencies will evaluate the results of the exercise, highlighting areas of strength and weaknesses, to better prepare the campus for an incident.