University tests emergency preparedness in November 16 exercise

emergency excercise on campusCalifornia State University, Stanislaus joined with other regional agencies to host a large-scale emergency exercise on Friday, November 16. The simulated bomb incident at The Village on-campus student housing complex included student volunteers who portrayed injured explosion victims and a number of regional emergency personnel and their vehicles.

The University's ability to respond to an emergency and to quickly and directly communicate with students and employees during an emergency was put to the test during the exercise which was deemed a successful training experience for all involved.

Making its debut during the exercise was the University's new Direct Emergency Notification system. Through this system, University employees and students will receive direct and immediate notification about emergencies affecting the campus. Timely warnings and emergency details will be sent to employees and students on their personal hand-held devices, typically in the form of a text message and/or call on a cell phone or BlackBerry. As the system is implemented, students and employees are being directed to a University website where they can specify the phone numbers where they want notices sent.

emergency excercise on campusThe University also has a website devoted to emergency readiness and response information for the campus community at: www.csustan.edu/emergency. The link appears at the bottom of the CSU Stanislaus homepage under the heading "Emergency Information." Urgent alerts will be posted to the site to provide current information on emergencies in progress.

When an emergency or campus crisis occurs, the campus community can also call a special emergency alert number: 877-STAN-411 (877-782-6411). Recorded messages will update callers on campus conditions and emergency procedures.

Agencies participating in the exercise that simulated an explosion in The Village Cafe included the University Police, Turlock Fire Department, Turlock Police Department, the Mediflight helicopter air ambulance from Modesto, Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office, Merced Police Department, Merced County Bomb Squad, UC Merced Police, American Medical Response ambulance service, the Stanislaus County Red Cross, and personnel from a number of University departments. The scenario played out during the drill featured a bombing incident, with a suspect being chased down and arrested. Final fictitious casualty figures included two fatalities and 68 injuries.