Harding University partners with first responders for annual disaster drill

March 31, 2022 |

Harding University conducted its annual community-wide disaster drill Wednesday, March 30 in Kendall Hall. This year’s exercise simulated a fire.

“One of the most important goals of drills like this is to practice working with our local first responders,” said Craig Russell, director of Public Safety. “We all hope that we never face the kinds of emergencies we simulate in these drills, but is is reassuring to know that our local police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services  and even the medical professionals with our local hospital are all on the same page with those of us here at Harding working to make our community safer and better.”

Since 2002, the University has coordinated disaster drills to facilitate a test of its emergency notification system and processes, allow practice for emergency communications protocol for administrators, and measure the timeliness of community first responders. The University cooperates with area emergency personnel including Searcy Fire Department, Northstar EMS ambulance service, Searcy Police Department, Unity Health and White County Office of Emergency Management. Previously staged events include simulations of an earthquake, hazardous waste, explosion and active shooter.

Faculty from Carr College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy as well as the physician assistant, athletic training and counseling programs coordinated student participation in the event. Health sciences students acted as medical staff on the scene to triage students acting as victims and utilized specific injury scenarios. The University had more than 100 participants.

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