This Is Auburn

Risk Management & Safety, other AU units to participate in VCOM Disaster Simulation & Training Day

4/26/2017 9:37:45 AM

On Friday, April  28, Auburn University’s Risk Management & Safety (RMS), several other campus units and local first-responder agencies from the community, will take part in the university’s first ever Disaster Day, hosted by the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Auburn, or VCOM.

“Disaster Day” is an emergency response training and disaster simulation event specifically for second-year VCOM medical students, who will be evaluated that day by VCOM faculty on their ability to respond and triage casualties. More than 150 second-year students will be participating as part of evaluation, while another 100 students will play the roles of “casualties” or other necessary characters.

VCOM Disaster Day is Friday, April 28


Members of the media are invited to attend. Interviews
available throughout the
day. For inquiries, contact Kati Burns at 334-844-2502


Disaster Day will take place on the VCOM campus at 910 South Donahue Drive, and VCOM classes will be suspended that day as most faculty, staff and students will be participating in the event. Other university units participating will include Auburn University RMS, Auburn University Public Safety, Auburn University ROTC and members of the Auburn University Campus Community Emergency Response Team or Campus CERT. In addition, a few local agencies will also participate, including the Auburn and Opelika Fire Divisions, and the East Alabama Medical Center EMS.

The first disaster simulation of the day will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the second disaster scenario beginning at 1:30 p.m. The event is for VCOM faculty, staff and students only, and participating Auburn University units. It is not open to the public.

Though this is the first Disaster Day hosted at the Auburn University campus, this is not VCOM’s first experience with disaster simulation and training as part of student curriculum. The college has two other campuses – one in Virginia and one in South Carolina – where disaster simulations and training are familiar annual events.  VCOM students complete online learning modules and then put them into practice during Disaster Day.  Disaster simulations give students a closer look at how the environment inside a hospital would be impacted during a mass casualty situation and what type of skills would be expected of them. Upon completion of the modules and Disaster Day, students will receive a Basic Disaster Life Support Certification, or BDLS.

RMS Environmental Health and Safety Technician Michael Freeman planned and formed the disaster scenarios for the event, based off input from VCOM. Freeman, who was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army, and has worked for fire, EMS and law enforcement in the past, said this is the first full-scale disaster simulation the university has had on campus since he arrived in 2006.

“We’ve conducted table-top type drills with Public Safety in the past, and I have helped train the Fire Department on HAZMAT specifics, but this is the first disaster simulation to be held on campus and in conjunction with local agencies,” Freeman said. “We could have done this without the local agencies, but it would not have been as realistic. If you do not practice real-life scenarios, you will not be prepared."

"This disaster simulation training allows our local agencies, university first responders and VCOM students to better understand our individual roles and what we may have to deal with together during a live situation." - Mike Freeman, RMS Environmental Health & Safety Tech

Freeman said VCOM’s Disaster Day will be good not only for those students participating, but for the surrounding communities as well. “This simulation teaches university first responders AND local responding agencies how to work together during the event of a possible disaster,” Freeman said. “The students can also take the skills they’ve learned back out into the communities that they will be working in. This is a multi-layered approach, and we are so appreciative of those local agencies who have made time in their very important schedules to help.”

Local agencies will be involved in the first scenario taking place at 8:30 a.m., while Campus CERT will play a bigger role in the second scenario at 1:30 p.m.

Freeman and VCOM’s Dr. JJ White will appear on WANI 98.7’s Auburn-Opelika This Morning Show on Thursday, April 27, at 8:35 a.m. to talk about Disaster Day. Follow @AURMS to see the live tweets from Disaster Day on April 28.

Categories: Safety, Students, Training

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