On the morning of Wednesday, June 28, UBC Risk Management will stage a large-scale emergency preparedness exercise in the area of Agronomy Road and Main Mall on the UBC Vancouver campus.
Exercise Run Down (as it’s being called), will simulate a mock vehicle attack at a running event during which the driver is shot by police. The scenario envisions 20-30 injured and some fatalities. The exercise will include mock casualties and emergency service provider response. More information can be found at http://rms.ubc.ca/emergency/emergency-management-program-training-exercises/annual-emergency-training-exercises/
Some members of the university community may question why UBC is doing this. Unfortunately, in the turbulent age in which we live, we need to be prepared for any eventuality. Planning for this exercise was well underway before recent incidents in London and elsewhere in which innocent lives were lost.
UBC treats the safety of students, staff and faculty very seriously. It is incumbent on major institutions like universities to test their emergency procedures periodically to ensure we are ready to respond to major events and help emergency service providers keep our campuses as safe as possible.
We hope the exercise helps to reinforce what students, faculty, staff and residents can do to help prepare themselves.
We can apply the lessons learned from this emergency training exercise to a whole variety of other scenarios, ranging from an earthquake, a building collapse to a chemical explosion – anything requiring a mass emergency response and the coordination of multiple agencies.
If there ever is a real emergency, we will do our best to alert members of the UBC community as quickly as possible. We have campus alerts and a system that lets us text cell phones of students, staff and faculty, so please ensure your contact information is up to date.
Rest assured that UBC has a comprehensive emergency plan in place for all our locations. The plan envisions responses to all kinds of emergency scenarios from earthquakes to forest fires and involves police, fire and other emergency services in both the Lower Mainland and Kelowna, as well as other external and internal partners.
It is my fervent hope that we never have to apply the lessons we learn from this week’s exercise, but I rest easier, knowing that we are working to be as prepared as possible.
Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor