The decommissioned South Campus residence hall complex will once again be a busy place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 9 and 10. During an intense two-day period, police officers, firefighters, medical personnel and university emergency management personnel will use the complex as the setting for tactical drills and a full-scale emergency response exercise.
“Students, faculty and staff will notice a number police, fire, ambulances and other emergency vehicles in that part of campus during those two days,” said Eric Hodges, university emergency manager. “There will be signs posted to alert people to the training exercises, but we want the campus community to be aware ahead of time.”
On Tuesday, Sept. 9, local police personnel will conduct small team tactical drills in the complex. The full-scale exercise on Wednesday, Sept. 10 will test responses to active shooter and hostage situations. That exercise will involve members of the Illinois State University Police Department, Normal Police Department, Bloomington Police Department, Illinois State Police, Normal Fire Department, McLean County Emergency Management Agency and University emergency response and management personnel.
The full-scale exercise will also be another valuable training opportunity for Illinois State’s Incident Management Team. Team members, drawn from administrative and operational units across campus, coordinate the University’s response and communication efforts during incidents, both large and small.
“The Incident Management Team draws on member expertise, procedures and community partnerships to effectively manage emergencies,” Hodges said. “This exercise is a unique opportunity to further prepare the team and the University community for a situation we hope we never face.”
The exercise will include dozens of student and faculty role players from the School of Theatre and Dance, and the Departments of Criminal Justice Sciences and Health Sciences. More than a dozen personnel from various emergency agencies throughout the state will also participate as controllers and evaluators, providing constructive feedback to the agencies participating in the exercise.