Posted July 30, 2014
Idaho State University officials hosted an emergency response drill at Holt Arena on the Pocatello campus July 29. The drill included participants from city, regional and state agencies, including Idaho’s’s 101st Civil Support Team.
In order to keep the drill as realistic as possible, very few details were released prior to today’s drill.
“It provides us an opportunity to apply our emergency response plan and procedures in a controlled environment and to work with response agencies at the regional and state levels,” said Stephen Hayward, regional programs coordinator for the Eastern Region for the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. “This also allowed the University to test their EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and allowed the University to play an active role in something they would be involved in.”
The exercise simulated an intentional release of a radioactive agent during a University-sponsored cultural event involving thousands of attendees. In the scenario, the chemical was released within the confines of the arena exposing the event’s attendees. Officials established an EOC on campus, as well as an Incident Command Post onsite. Authorities responded to the incident, reacting as the exercise commander provided updated details.
“I’m extremely pleased with our staff’s response to today’s drill. Exercises such as this are critical to maintaining a timely and orderly response in the event of an actual emergency,” explained Phil Moessner, ISU associate vice president of facilities management.
In light of the emergency exercise, ISU Public Safety officials remind the campus community of the importance of being vigilant and prepared. Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Any suspicious activity on campus should be reported to ISU Public Safety at 282-2515, or in an emergency, by calling 911.