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New Emergency Operations Center at ASU's Polytechnic campus Acts as Alternate Site


October 25, 2003

Tom Schildgen, 480/727-1685, schildge@asu.edu

Mesa, Ariz. -- Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) announce the opening of an Alternate Emergency Operations Center (AEOC) at the Polytechnic campus as a backup to the primary EOC located at Papago Park Military Reservation.

When a large-scale emergency or disaster occurs, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), which is part of the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, directs the state's response and recovery efforts from the Emergency Operations Center.

"This facility contains state-of-the-art communications technology, and if an actual crisis occurs will benefit the entire East Valley," said Thomas Schildgen, chair of the academic unit that will maintain the alternate emergency center. The collaborative facility, located at the polytechnic-focused campus in Mesa, also will provide contextual education through simulation exercises for students of the Environmental Technology Management (ETM) program as well as personnel of local municipalities.

The ETM program has a history of annual emergency exercises and simulations that incorporate state and local response agencies. These exercises and simulations go well beyond an academic focus, serving to foster enhanced relationships with community, government and industry.

In addition to training, the faculty in the ETM program will use the center for human factor research and will maintain the facility in the event ADEM needs to relocate to an alternate facility during a crisis.

"This project reflects a strong and dynamic cooperation between ASU and DEMA to provide a state-of-the-art emergency facility that will be used by ASU students and others to prepare for or to handle actual emergency situations," said Schildgen.

ASU professor Danny Peterson will be the lead faculty member assigned responsibility for maintaining the facility. A dedication of the Alternate Emergency Operations Center is scheduled for 10 a.m., Oct. 29, at the Polytechnic campus.