COLLEGE SPOTLIGHT: CVCC Prepares for the Worst
Submitted by Ken Bunch, PR & marketing specialist, Central Virginia Community College
On March 8, Central Virginia Community College, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other regional public safety partners, conducted a functional emergency preparedness exercise at its location in Lynchburg. This live event involved a significant number of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical service personnel and equipment.
The exercise included first responders taking action and responding as if in an actual shooter-on-campus situation. There were several activations of the CVCC campus text alert/mass notification system, and local EMS and police personnel responded with their emergency equipment activated. Five CVCC students, from the EMT and Paramedic programs, volunteered as real-life trauma victims, while a state trooper played the role of the shooter.
The purpose of the exercise was to test CVCC’s emergency plan and response procedures, as well as to educate staff and faculty on the proper lockdown process. There was also an afternoon Emergency Operations Center (EOC) simulation and evaluation for CVCC’s Incident Management Team.
“We held this exercise as part of a state compliance regulation,” said CVCC Director of Public Safety & Chief of Police, Russell L. Dove, “but also to educate our staff on proper emergency procedures. We put a lot of focus on public safety here at CVCC, so we’re using this opportunity to take that to the next level and evaluate how we’re doing, particularly as it relates to coordinating our efforts with our local response partners.”
In the coming weeks, the exercise will be evaluated by law enforcement and emergency management officials from Campbell County, as well as evaluators from John Tyler Community College, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Longwood University, and the System Office in Richmond. Both phases of the exercise will allow CVCC officials and local emergency responders to evaluate and fine-tune the college’s emergency response and recovery plans.
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