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Oct. 11 rescue exercise scheduled for Convocation Center

October 8, 2012

Photo of paramedics loading patient into ambulanceThe scenario is a familiar one: Homecoming week activities are planned for the Convocation Center, and students are arriving early to set up for a special activity.

Then an extraordinary event takes place. Three cars are involved in a crash near the Convo, and the driver of another vehicle– “rubbernecking” the first accident—strikes pedestrians, injuring several more persons.

How horrible.  How tragic.  How fortunate.

Fortunate? Fortunate that it is only an exercise designed to prepare emergency responders for an accident involving multiple crashes with injuries.

Thursday’s annual rescue exercise, which will take place at approximately 5:30 p.m., gives the NIU community a chance to see what goes into saving victims involved in a serious accident while providing valuable training for participants.

An exercise such as this is a simulation of an event or series of events designed to test emergency response systems.  Communications, equipment, resources, technology, knowledge, skills and protocols are put to the test to make sure the systems in place work properly.

“An exercise like this prepares the different local responders for how to work together with each other in a crisis situation,” says Sgt. Alan Smith, public information officer for the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety. “A lot of times people see this and think this won’t happen to them. This can happen to them. A perfect example is the recent accident on Annie Glidden Road involving a cement truck and a van that had several injuries.”

When a serious crash occurs, emergency workers from other agencies are called to help with rescue efforts. Participants in this drill include members of the DeKalb police and fire departments; DeKalb County and Sycamore police officers; plus medical helicopter and Kishwaukee Community Hospital staff members.

“This will be a multi-agency coordinated effort. Many times those are the agencies that respond to serious crashes,” Smith adds.

For more information, call NIU police at (815) 753-1212.

Northern Illinois University is recognizing Crime Prevention MonthDomestic Violence Awareness Month, and Fire Prevention Week during October. All month long, the university will promote awareness of the safety programs it has in place as well as offer safety tips for the university community.