IACLEA Course Announcement
DHS/FEMA Approves Three-Day Critical Incident Management
Course for Higher Education Emergency Responders
WEST HARTFORD, CT (June 2, 2010) – Federal officials on June 1 granted certification to a unique three-day course tailored toward emergency managers and their mutual aid partners on U.S. college and university campuses. The interactive course focuses on how to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from critical incidents ranging from terrorist attacks to catastrophic weather events.
The course, entitled, “Managing Critical Incidents for Higher Education Institutions: A Multi-Disciplinary, Community Approach,” received official certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Preparedness Directorate’s Training and Exercise Integration/Training Operations (TEI/TO). FEMA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). IACLEA anticipates it will be able to schedule deliveries of the course at campus host sites by late July or early August.
The approval was in the form of a memorandum from Michael Morton, Chief of FEMA’s National Domestic Preparedness Consortium Branch, to Christopher Blake, IACLEA’s Campus Preparedness Project Director. The course will now be listed as MGT-361 in the TEI/TO catalog of approved courses as published by the Training Operations division.
Federal certification of the course culminates a 14-month course development process undertaken by IACLEA and the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) based at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. TEEX is a founding member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), a DHS entity that is charged with developing and delivering high quality training programs for emergency responders.
“IACLEA thanks the federal government for its continued confidence in us to deliver training on United States college and university campuses to enhance domestic preparedness,” said IACLEA President Marlon C. Lynch, who is Associate Vice President for Safety and Security and Chief of Police at the University of Chicago. “This course is uniquely suited to the campus environment, with real case studies involving actual incidents on college campuses,” he said.
The course is intended to introduce participants to all-hazards, critical incident prevention, preparedness, response and recovery roles and responsibilities as they affect higher education institutions. The intended audience includes stakeholders from within higher education institutions, including representatives of campus public safety, emergency management, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staffs, campus administration, athletic departments, campus arena or stadium operators, environmental health and safety, public works, faculty union and student life/affairs. The audience also includes stakeholders from communities that surround the campus. These stakeholders include local and state law enforcement and emergency management agencies, fire services, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), non-governmental organizations (Red Cross, etc.), local elected officials, public health organizations, public works, local hospitals, private-sector businesses, and federal officials who would be involved in a response to a critical incident on a college campus.
The course features nine substantive modules:
- Critical Incidents and Higher Education Institutions
Preparedness and Prevention, Response and Recovery—The Importance of Stakeholder Relationships
- Preparedness and Prevention—All-Hazards Considerations for Higher Education Institutions
- Critical Incident Considerations, Crisis Leadership, and Decision Making
- The Incident Command System (ICS)—Role and Functions
- Multi-Agency Coordination—Relationships, Roles, and Responsibilities
- Managing the Expanding Incident
- Recovery Issues for Higher Education Institutions
- Final Exercise
The course is designed to be interactive, as the instructors will encourage students to share their experiences, so participants learn from each other as well as through the formal course curriculum. There are several case studies that discuss actual critical incidents, including the 1994 earthquake that severely damaged California State University at Northridge and the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007.
The course development project began in April of 2009 with a meeting at TEEX attended by IACLEA subject matter experts Paul Dean of the University of New Hampshire, Toni Rinaldi of Naugatuck Valley Community College, Frank Zebedis of Winthrop University, and Blake. At that meeting, the course objectives, target audience, modules and learning goals were adopted. Curriculum drafting took place during the spring of 2009. IACLEA subject matter experts Daryl Johnston of Santa Fe College, Richard Lee of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and Brian Seastone of the University of Arizona reviewed the draft curriculum and made changes, which were incorporated. Following a final review by TEEX and IACLEA, pilot deliveries of the course were scheduled.
Pilot course deliveries took place September 9-11, 2009 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; October 13-15, 2009, at Villanova University; and Nov. 10-12, 2009 at the University of Notre Dame. DHS subject matter experts attended the third course delivery at Notre Dame and submitted extensive comments, which were then reviewed. The course was submitted to DHS/FEMA in February of 2010.
IACLEA and TEEX sponsored an instructor “train-the-trainer” program from November 30 through December 4, 2009 at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, VA. Some 32 instructor candidates attended the program.
This project is funded by a grant to IACLEA from DHS to train emergency responders on college and university campuses to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from critical incidents.
The course will be delivered at various campus host sites throughout the U.S. IACLEA has received more than 30 requests from campuses wishing to host the course. Blake and Jack Leonard, IACLEA’s Campus Preparedness Training Coordinator, will contact potential host sites this month to begin identifying specific hosts and scheduling course deliveries. They anticipate the first delivery will take place in late July or early August.
Please watch this web site for future updates or contact Project Director Christopher G. Blake, CAE at