Coordinated emergency training had Quad area buzzing

August 23, 2017

A drill to test emergency preparedness protocols brought scores of trainees and equipment to the main Quad residential area near Alumni Hall Wednesday morning, August 23.

“It was joint training exercise with the Emergency Management Team, Fire and Rescue, Public Safety and Residence Life,” said Saint Michael’s College Director of Public Safety Doug Babcock. “We simulated a biological contaminant with multiple student illnesses, to test our ambulance and fire crews’ Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) capabilities that coordinate with other area rescue agencies.”

Babcock said the Emergency Management Team “worked through the scenario in real time regarding the college’s response to this type of emergency … testing our coordination both as first-responders, and between the on-scene and the emergency management teams, as well as several parts of our College’s emergency operations plan.”

He said the trainees and leadership team learned many valuable lessons, including “areas we can improve in communications, in logistics, and the importance of command structures and training.”

Each year in late August, for many years running, the Saint Michael’s Fire and Rescue squads have held a “Boot Camp” for new and returning members, usually culminating with a mass-casualty simulation event at the end of camp. This year, they chose to coordinate their drill with the rest of the Emergency Management Team for Wednesday’s simulation, Babcock said.

More than 70 participants joined the simulation, which ran from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., including more than 50 members of the Residence Life staff, close to 30 Saint Michael’s Fire and Rescue squad members, more than half a dozen public safety officers and other local emergency management or first-responder personnel from outside agencies — all coordinating and working together.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness,” Babcock said. “It also is for federal compliance since we annually have to test our Emergency PLan to be in compliance with Clery Act.”

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