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June 27, 2008

“Warhawks Prepared” grant integrates disaster preparedness into FRYS courses

Dr. Mark Doherty, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, received a $5,000 Ready Campus grant from Louisiana Campus Compact to integrate disaster preparedness into the Freshman Year Seminar courses this fall.

The grant, "Warhawks Prepared," is part of a statewide partnership program that began among Pennsylvania's colleges and universities and their neighboring communities, but has extended to Louisiana and other states. The program is designed to strengthen preparation for, and response to, a variety of campus emergencies, including natural and human-made disasters.

FRYS students will be encouraged as part of the "Warhawks Prepared" curriculum to engage in mock disaster scenarios in preparation for a variety of emergencies including, but not limited to, school shootings and CPR-related, alcohol poisoning, and fire-related situations.

The fire-related emergencies will also enable the students to utilize brand new, state-of-the-art fire extinguisher training equipment recently purchased by the kinesiology department. This "live fire" system will safely enable hundreds of ULM students, faculty, and staff to learn proper extinguisher training during the one-day session for the cost of a propane tank and a tank of compressed air – not the expensive cost of recharging hundreds of fire extinguisher tanks.

Doherty theorizes that former FRYS students enrolled in KINS 321, Safety Education, have provided student insight into the programming, which will help with the integration. “We’ve already seen other college campuses who could have, or did, benefit from this kind of training in the very worst of situations. The ‘Warhawks Prepared’ program is designed to encourage increased personal responsibility with regard to campus safety, educate students about the ULM safety preparedness initiatives, and improve the students’ basic lifesaving competencies if faced with a serious emergency.”

The FRYS students will all be exposed to curricula in the classroom, which is being developed under the guidance of ULM faculty and staff from across various ULM disciplines and involves the acquisition of disaster preparedness knowledge, skill, and dispositions.

Staff from the Louisiana Board of Regents, the state's delegated governing board for higher education, asked Louisiana Campus Compact to develop a statewide Ready Campus implementation plan, recognizing the need to have a campuswide approach for emergency and disaster preparedness.

For more information about Ready Campus, go to:

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