Bard News & Events

Press Release

Bard College Hosts Emergency Preparedness Drill on Saturday, March 6

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.––On Saturday, March 6 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Bard College will host an emergency preparedness drill for the local Northern Dutchess area. This full-scale exercise, in coordination with local emergency responders including fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response, will be one of the most comprehensive and involved emergency preparation exercises in Dutchess County. Full-scale emergency preparedness drills provide unique opportunities to simultaneously test multiple systems, including communication systems, which are integral during a large-scale emergency. “Emergency preparedness drills and tabletop exercises (workshops in which participants ‘walk through’ an emergency situation) are the best way to test a system’s ability to respond to disaster and to ensure continual improvement of response systems,” says co-organizer and Bard graduate Brent Lewis ’09, who is preparing to go to medical school.

Intensive planning meetings for the drill began in September 2009, when Bard College offered to host the exercise on its campus. Planners from Bard College, the Red Hook and Tivoli Fire Departments, Northern Dutchess Paramedics, New York State Police, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Red Hook Village Police, and the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response joined forces to create an unprecedented partnership. The partnership developed after the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office provided several training sessions to Bard staff and Bard’s student-run Emergency Medical Services organization. Local law enforcement agencies have applied for federal grant money to help pay for the costs associated with the exercise. Emergency responders have received donations of supplies for training.

“Institutions have a responsibility to develop and test their emergency management systems,” says Erin Cannan, dean of students at Bard College. “By working together, the various local agencies and Bard College hope to strengthen communication systems. Planners also hope that the promotion of this event will raise awareness locally, promoting individual preparedness during emergencies.”

back to top

This event was last updated on 03-05-2010