The Bryants Building is slated for demolition in early 2017. Similar training exercises were held in McCarty Hall before its demolition in 2016. These scenarios provide a valuable setting for emergency responders to practice and learn.
Agencies descended on the building in the morning for training sessions, then broke out into groups in the afternoon for scenario exercises.
“One member of our team, Stacie Smith, responded to the incident command post while I worked with our newest team member, Eli King, on how we would activate the Emergency Operations Center in this kind of scenario,” said Emergency Management Director Steve Charvat.
The scenario included multiple UWPD cadets volunteering as injured bystanders, hostages, and even an active shooter. No weapons were used in the scenario, just bright-blue plastic models.
Through the training exercise UWPD, Emergency Management, SPD and SFD were able to practice coordinating an intra-agency response, a hairy situation involving multiple staging points, dispatch networks and a maze of an old building.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for some time, trying to get all of these agencies together,” said UWPD Chief John Vinson. “The more that we’re training together and learning from each other the more we’re all on the same page in responding to any emergency on campus. Because of this training I have a renewed sense of comfort that if an emergency scenario were to happen on campus that we would be able to respond and coordinate with each other effectively.”
“UWPD, SPD, SFD and KCSO are well trained in their tactical response, UWEM’s concerns in this kind of scenario is communications to the campus community and to the public,” said Charvat. “That’s why we practice coordinating with the University’s Crisis Communications Committee and activating the EOC.”