October 08, 2010

Case Western Reserve University Lands Emergency Preparedness Grant

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Director of Emergency Management Jason Goodrick.

An ambitious proposal by Director of Emergency Management Jason Goodrick has landed Case Western Reserve University a grant worth more than a half-million dollars to develop and implement a nationwide model for disaster resilience on campus.

Mission: Disaster Resilience is a strategic plan that covers four phases of emergency management (prepare, mitigate, respond and recover) and tailors current best practices to the unique needs of Case Western Reserve University.

Nestled in the small North Campus Security Satellite Office, Goodrick recently described the plan: “The primary focus is to review and improve the university’s emergency management plan, and support plans, which include infectious disease response plan, similar to what we used for our H1N1 response last year. Also our behavioral risk assessment plan: identifying risk and mitigating risk from a behavioral standpoint.” 

The objective of the grant, worth $568,090, is based on Incident Command Training, a system that became a nationwide best practice system after 9/11 on how to manage and integrate a lot of resources in an emergency.

“This is not a vacuum grant,” Goodrick said. “This requires us to work very closely with outside mental health agencies, outside emergency response agencies including the city of Cleveland, Homeland Security and University Circle police and Cuyahoga County Emergency Management Agency.

“Over next year and a half, we’re going to work on getting 215 of CRWU’s staff who are involved with emergency response trained to the level of what’s appropriate.” 

The grant money will be used to establish and train a community emergency response team, or CERT, specifically for the Case Western Reserve community. Training for the first group of about 25 could begin as early as this fall or early next year.

“Eventually the goal is to have 50 volunteers on CERT by the end of the two-year grant period,” Goodrick said.

“This is a very comprehensive grant,” Goodrick said. The other thing this does is give us money to conduct two exercises,” including a full-scale exercise in summer of 2012, a live simulation of a terrorist incident on campus with all the major regional and federal responders participating. “It’s a huge undertaking; it’ll take about two years to plan.”

Funding comes from U.S. Department of Education Safe and Drug Free Schools, Emergency Management for Higher Education program. “Virginia Tech had a lot to do with it,” he said. “Prior to Virginia Tech, there was no funding like this.” Recommendations in the aftermath of the deadly 2007 shootings, in which a disturbed student killed 32 people on campus, led to federal funding for EMHE. 

Interested faculty and staff may call 368.4876 or send email to Goodrick, director of Emergency Management.

Posted by: David Wilson, October 8, 2010 10:47 AM | News Topics:

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