Dozens of students are gathered for a barbecue party; there’s music,  people are eating, dancing, talking. Suddenly, a massive explosion. Several people are injured.

This description was the scene at one of the mass casualty drills organized by the Department of Safety, Security, & Emergency Preparedness (SSEP) of Broward College.

The SSEP has always worked towards providing the safest environment for all employees and students that attend all campuses and centers. Part of the efforts of the department includes special events such as training exercises like the one previously described.

This annual, big-scale drill mimics real-life emergencies with the help of community partners such as Police Departments and local hospitals.

“Exercises like this are important because they allow us to train our community partners to increase our capabilities to respond to any emergency,” says Jaeson Weber, Director of Emergency Management Safety & Emergency Operations. “As an academic institution, it also allows us to bridge the gap between our academic pathways and the professionals in the fields that our graduates will go into by providing hands-on experience.”

2019 Mass Casualty Drill

Mass Casualty DrillOn Friday, April 12, the College will host this year’s drill in partnership with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). The exercise will take place on the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The College has designated the areas of Building 5, Building 1008 (SIM Center), and Parking Lot G, to be used for the drill. The Davie Police Department, Davie Fire Rescue, and Florida Atlantic University will be participating alongside Broward College and HCA. More than 200 people, including volunteers, first responders, and students from the Health and Sciences and Public Safety Pathways, are expected to participate. During the drill, the mobilization of emergency vehicles, the use of life-like sounds of firearms and explosions, and simulated victims are to be expected. 

Students from the Dental Hygiene program will be participating. “They will benefit greatly,” says Nora Powell, Dean of Health Sciences. “The opportunity to participate in a simulated emergency that calls upon multidisciplinary collaboration is priceless because during their career they can volunteer with FEMA to act in times of crisis and this exercise will certainly allow them to put to practice skills that they will need in a real-life emergency.”

Students are given guides and other resources on drills, mass casualty emergencies, and such, two months before the drill. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this exercise because it will allow me to see the behind the scenes of an emergency. As a future Dental Hygienist, I am looking forward to learning and understanding the procedures used by professionals on the field,” says Alex Bajer, a student at Broward College.

Emergency Planning and Training

Constructing a strong and reliable emergency plan is not an easy job. The SSEP works hard to provide the most up-to-date, secure plan that will help to save lives. Providing training exercises such as the mass casualty drill helps the College in its mission of providing a safe environment. “The exercise has strengthened Broward College’s emergency management plans and associated capabilities in that it permits refinement of strategies, concepts, and operating principles,” says Weber.

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For more information about Campus Safety, Emergency Preparedness tips, and more visit broward.edu/safety.