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UB to stage full-scale emergency exercise

Local, state and federal emergency responders will assist UB in conducting a full-scale emergency exercise on July 19 on the South Campus.

By MICHAEL ANDREI

Published July 14, 2017

“The scenario will involve multiple campus agencies and resources, along with multiple community agencies and resources.”
Jay Roorbach, senior emergency planning coordinator

UB’s emergency management department, in collaboration with local, state and federal emergency responders, will conduct a full-scale exercise designed to ensure coordinated, timely and effective response and recovery to a campus crisis.

The exercise will take place from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 19 in and around Clark Hall on the South Campus.

Emergency management also will collaborate with UB’s Incident Management Team; University Police; Environment, Health and Safety; Student Life; University Communications and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“The purpose of this full-scale exercise is to enhance UB’s preparedness and safety by testing the University Police Department and other selected departments’ ability to respond and recover from a mass casualty incident involving hazardous materials,” says Jay Roorbach, senior emergency planning coordinator.

The exercise will focus on UB and community agencies’ response to the emergency scenario, as well as command-level interaction with campus departments and external agencies, Roorbach adds.

“The exercise is designed with the goal of increasing the ability of UB departments and community agencies to work cooperatively and in close coordination with each other,” he says. “The scenario will involve multiple campus agencies and resources, along with multiple community agencies and resources.”

The participating agencies will include Kaleida Health, Buffalo Fire and Police departments, Erie County Emergency Services, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Amherst Emergency Services, Erie County Department of Health, FBI, SUNY administration and New York State agencies.

During the exercise and two days prior to it, University Communications will send and post messages informing the university community that an emergency exercise is taking place. Several emergency vehicles and actors with simulated injuries will be visible on the South Campus during the exercise.

During the exercise, access to faculty and staff parking lots adjacent to Diefendorf and Clark halls will be limited. Additional information can be found here.

The exercise also will test the potential application of software developed by Souma Chowdhury, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, enabling teams of inexpensive, unmanned drones to work together in scanning and providing oversight of the emergency scenario.

“UB’s engineers have proven that swarming technology allows drones to move from point to point, observing and gathering information,” Roorbach says. “This exercise provides an opportunity for a practical application in an emergency-response scenario, where we will be mostly testing single-drone surveillance and two-drone collaboration flights.”

The exercise is closed to the campus community and the general public.