WSU personnel to put training into action during mock earthquake
Thursday, December 31, 1998
OGDEN, Utah - Each year numerous communities fall victim to natural or man-made disasters. "News reports may make it seem as though earthquakes, blizzards, fires, chemical spills and floods are always happening somewhere else. But what if a major catastrophe occurred along the Wasatch Front?" said Richard Ordyna, Weber State University's emergency program manager.
The wake of a disaster often severely restricts and overwhelms core emergency response resources, communications, transportation and utilities -- leaving communities crippled and temporarily fending for themselves. To prepare for such a circumstance, WSU's Environmental Health and Safety Office has developed a course to train campus emergency response teams to help mitigate disasters during the first 72 hours if outside support was limited.
More than 50 WSU faculty and staff have been training for the last several months. As the final exercise in the seven-part course, the group will respond to a mock earthquake Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Ogden City Fire Department Training Tower, 760 W. 12th Street. The simulation will culminate the variety of disaster preparedness issues covered in the course including: fire suppression, medical operations, search and rescue techniques, psychology and team organization.
"With more than 14,000 people on our campus, WSU really is its own small community. As such, every student and employee needs basic survival skills to handle their own needs and assist others in the aftermath of a disaster," Ordyna said. "Our training program has dual benefits. Individuals will be better prepared to help in disaster situations that may occur on campus, as well as emergencies in their neighborhoods and hometowns."
The training course will be repeated on an ongoing basis until the majority of university personnel and students have had the opportunity to participate.
|Additional Contact(s): ||Richard Ordyna|