DURANT – Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management co-sponsored a three-day training course in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).
The training sessions were held on the Southeastern campus and concluded early Thursday afternoon.
The course, “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education,” is designed to provide Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with knowledge and planning strategies to protect lives, property, and operations more effectively within the context of comprehensive emergency management.
Southeastern president Larry Minks said, “This type of training is critical. The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff, and the community, is our first and foremost concern. We experienced that just last week with the ice storm, and having to implement part of our emergency response plan.
“There are a lot of similarities with this type of training and our National Incident Management System (NIMS) training which we’ve been cycling through the past four-five years.
“We are very fortunate to have great partners with the community, and James Dalton, who is the Emergency Management Director for this area, is instrumental in helping us facilitate this type of training.”
Approximately 60 people attended the training course. Representatives were in attendance from Southeastern, local and state emergency management groups, the health department, independent school districts, Grayson County College, Chickasaw Nation, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Jim Reseburg (Chief Executive Officer) and Bob McKibben (Chief Operations Officer) of Emergency Planning Solutions, LLC conducted the course.
McKibben said, “This course was developed about five years ago specifically for colleges and universities to teach them how to plan for, and recover from, emergencies of any type. Our company has presented this course to over 300 different universities across the nation.
“This is very much-needed training for colleges and universities. Up until a few years ago, there wasn’t a lot of training for colleges and universities so this has been widely accepted.
“Out of all the ones we’ve done, this has been one of the better ones. No only do we have a very good cross section of faculty and staff from throughout the campus, we have had the president of the University sit through the entire course, which is very unusual. They are also fortunate to have a representative from the State Department of Emergency Management, the county, and the Department of Health.
“The more training universities can get, the better they will be at anticipating, planning for, and responding to an emergency, and mitigating things they can’t prevent.”
Course objectives: Define comprehensive emergency management; Recognize the importance of an Emergency Plan that meets the unique needs of an IHE; Identify hazards that present risks for IHEs and the impacts of those hazards; Identify the process and benefits of conducting a risk assessment; Create a partnership with stakeholders; Identify and assemble a planning team; Develop or revise a Multi-hazard emergency operations plan; Develop and implement a strategy for training and testing the Emergency Operations Center; and Engage the academic community.
Miles Gooding, Bryan County Emergency Management Safety Officer, said, “We are working in conjunction with Southeastern. We want to partner with them, in case of an emergency. We want to build our relationship with them prior to an event, not during an event.
“This training has been a fortunate event for Southeastern, Durant, and Bryan County. It is vitally important to get this type of training and to get everyone together and on the same page prior to an actual emergency.”