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50 College Students Take Part in “NY Hope” Training


This year’s “NY Hope” Disaster Response exercise for college students at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oneida County is complete. The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, in partnership with the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education, conducted the four-day exercise which culminated on August 6th that provided students with training for future careers in homeland security and emergency services. This year’s exercise built on previous NY Hope events held in Oriskany and utilized many of the State Preparedness Training Center’s world-class training venues. The exercise gave students training in leadership; teamwork and confidence building; disaster response and medical operations; incident command system and interoperable communications, and emergency services partner agency training.

The NY Hope exercise provides free training to students, community members, and local and state responders. It is sponsored by the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education; the University of Albany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security; and Elmira College.

During the training, participants worked together in teams to tackle challenges including mass casualty situations, water rescue operations, secondary triage and treatment, damage assessment, wilderness search and rescue, and emergency response involving a cyber-attack.

Students participating this week represent different universities or colleges around the country, including:

  • The University at Albany
  • The Citadel
  • Elmira College
  • Fairfield University
  • Immaculata University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Paul Smith College
  • Saint John Fisher University
  • SUNY Geneseo

Thirteen of the students attending the University at Albany completed this year’s NY Hope exercise. Each day, students rotated through scenarios that recreated the challenges and conditions faced when a humanitarian organization responds to a disaster. For example, one student team conducted damage assessments of a simulated collapsed structure at the training center’s urban search and rescue rubble pile while another team staffed an incident command center responsible for managing the structure collapse incident. The exercise taught students the basics of triage, first aid, and use of the Incident Command System (ICS).

This year’s NY Hope exercise included for the first time an advanced medical lane where nursing students cared for victims of a mass casualty event staged at the training center’s Cityscape and train car venues. The students trained alongside emergency room physicians to treat the victims.

Other training scenarios included having teams’ respond to a simulated cyber security attack, conduct a wilderness search and rescue, and respond to a mass casualty incident. Students also received rescue training from Office of Fire Prevention and Control technical rescue personnel at the State’s popular Swift Water/Flood Rescue training venue. At the venue, students learned how to use throw bags for rescuing people in swift water conditions. Students also observed demonstrations of an automobile trying to drive through a simulated flooded or washed-out road and how these types of incidents often result in driver drowning situations.

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