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B-CU Campus Safety Conducts Successful Emergency Response Drill

campus safety

More than 100 individuals participated in an active threat drill at Bethune-Cookman University on Friday, August 10, 2018. The training involved City of Daytona Beach Police Department and City of Daytona Fire Department, B-CU Campus Safety, students, faculty, staff and community observers. 

“In emergency management, testing and evaluating plans is extremely important, said Director of Emergency Management & Risk Management Analyst Althea Kennedy.“Conducting exercises and drills offer the opportunity to provide training, reduce confusion, and verify the adequacy of emergency response plans and equipment. Testing and evaluating the evolution of command and interoperability is critical for incidents such as active threats.”

The drill was conducted to prepare campus safety and members of the campus community with strategies for safety and survival in the event of an active threat. While a threat could be a natural disaster, weather emergency or bomb threat, the scenario presented was an active shooter in a residence hall. 

Student resident advisers who served as role players were trained earlier in the week in U.S. Department of Homeland Security Run, Hide, Fight safety techniques. The exercise also put the University's Wildcat Safe App in play.

The Wildcat SAFE App is an essential safety tool for the campus community. During the exercise, students were able to trigger a feature on the safety app called the Mobile Blue Light.  The Mobile Blue Light feature allows subscribers to seek assistance by triggering a button which calls the campus safety dispatcher and sends the user's general location to the Wildcat SAFE Dashboard in the Campus Safety Dispatch Communications Center. The 'Mobile Blue Light' feature parallels the stationary Emergency Blue Phones. 

The training exercise also illuminated the importance of inter-agency collaboration between emergency responders in the community.  “While we hope and pray that such an event never occurs, preparation can make the difference in life or death and relationships save lives,” said Chief of Campus Safety Gregory Elder.

“I feel better and more experienced about what to do in the event something does happen,” said Anjae Levias, a student resident advisor and mock drill participant. “My main takeaway is that everybody should stay calm in an emergency situation. As leaders, we have to make sure our students are kept safe.”

The simulation also was a hands-on experience for public safety officers, emergency management technicians and media partners. The public safety briefing addressed issues of timeliness and areas for improvement. According to Daytona Beach Police Captain B.K. Williams, B-CU is the first university in the area to conduct an active shooter drill.

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Joy Jones
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit  www.cookman.edu.

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