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Exercise in Tempe coordinates emergency response


March 10, 2011

Arizona State University in conjunction with agencies around the Valley will hold a simulated shooting exercise at Ocotillo Hall on the Tempe campus on March 12.

The drill will test interactions between the ASU Police Department, Tempe Fire Department, Tempe Police Department, Office of the Medical Examiner, Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, CARE 7 (Tempe’s crisis response unit) and PMT Ambulance Service in responding to a simulated emergency. There will be a large response to the exercise on March 12 from police and fire units and members of the community should not be alarmed by public safety vehicles or media helicopters at ASU.  

The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and run until approximately 11:30 a.m. It will take place on a Saturday and the first day of Spring Break so that university operations are not disrupted.

“Although the participating agencies already work together closely, it’s imperative that exercises are undertaken that test our response during active situations when decisions must be made quickly and accurately. This gives us the opportunity to use our training skills in a dynamic situation and to go back and evaluate what we did well and what can improve our processes,” said Allen Clark, ASU Police Department assistant chief and organizer of the exercise.

ASU Alert, the university’s emergency messaging system, will be tested during the exercise. The emergency messaging system utilizes text messages, emails, Twitter postings, Facebook and an RSS feed to alert students, faculty and staff to life safety incidents on campus. Members of the university community who experience any issues with the service during the test may send an email to news@asu.edu.

Students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will participate in the drill by acting as reporters during the exercise.