Mercyhurst University is partnering with local law enforcement and other agencies to stage a mock emergency on campus beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The exercise, which will simulate a bomb threat scenario, is designed to test the ability of university staff and local agencies to respond to emergencies and uncover possible areas of improvement. The lifelike simulation follows a series of tabletop exercises that the university’s emergency response team has been conducting for several years.
Mercyhurst University Police Chief Robert Kuhn said the exercise enables the university to put its emergency response plan to the test and gauge the preparedness of its staff. He said the scripted scenario focuses on an individual who has planted a bomb in a building on campus, necessitating help from local police and fire departments, the bomb squad, FBI, Hazmat team and assorted first responders.
Kuhn explained that Mercyhurst has no reason to anticipate any violent episodes, but wanted to include such scenarios in the drill so that emergency personnel could practice a full range of skills and work collaboratively on campus. The lessons learned from such training can often be applied to other problematic situations where violence is not a factor, but where teams would need to respond at a moment’s notice.
Mercyhurst students and employees are being informed about the exercise. It is expected to last approximately two hours.