Campus Emergencies Course Aids Responders During Bomb Scare at TSU
The bomb squad determined the device was not explosive but found a second suspicious package, which was detonated as a precaution. Although the motive is still unclear, the devices were made to look like real bombs.
During the incident, approximately 300 students were evacuated from a resident hall, and several streets were closed.
Course participant Jake Palmer, Emergency Management Coordinator, Texas State University, recounts the incident and expresses his gratitude for the training he received.
"It was great having all of you here. I have received nothing but great feedback from all the attendees and the administration. The questions you posed and the information that you provided has made my job a great deal easier, and we had a chance to put it to use this week. Early Tuesday morning, we had an incident with a disturbed individual and two suspicious packages found in a truck parked in the middle of campus. We ended up having a controlled detonation of the package and all the students were back in their dorms in time for class.
We found a number of areas for improvement, but everyone agreed that the training was perfectly timed and very useful. Thank you for all the work you did," said Palmer.
The Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response, and Recovery course provides participants with an understanding of and ability to navigate through the difficult aspects of dealing with campus emergencies involving natural or manmade events, including acts of violence.
The course consists of small, problem-based, integrated group activities that require a coordinated, integrated approach to solve. Through tabletop scenarios, course participants observe a developing incident and respond in a manner consistent with currently established campus and jurisdictional emergency operations procedures.
Course participants included TSU executive campus leaders, faculty and student governance, campus public safety departments, campus medical and mental health services, campus public affairs, jurisdictional public information officers, and local law enforcement and public safety agencies.