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November 21, 2008

Warhawks Prepared grant brings disaster preparedness to students

Dr. Mark Doherty, chair of the ULM Kinesiology Department, received a $5,000 Ready Campus grant from Louisiana Campus Compact to integrate disaster preparation 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 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.

Doherty is pleased with the positive reception. “Should we ever be faced with an on-campus emergency, we can say that one-fourth of all incoming first-year students were specifically trained to quickly assess four levels of victims, provide basic CPR, deal with wounds, fight a fire with an extinguisher, and avoid, as well as be able to judge, when a victim is in serious jeopardy due to an alcohol-related poisoning. Hopefully, the training will allow them to remain calm, focus on the emergency task at hand ..."

FRYS students were encouraged as part of the “Warhawks Prepared” curriculum to engage in mock disaster scenarios. The fire-related emergency set-ups also enabled the students to utilize brand new, state-of-the-art fire extinguisher training equipment purchased by the kinesiology department from the Bullex Company. This "live fire" system safely allowed hundreds of ULM students, faculty and staff to learn proper extinguisher training during the one-day session.

The FRYS students were exposed to curricula in the classroom, developed under the guidance of ULM faculty/staff from across various ULM disciplines. Their education involved the acquisition of disaster preparedness knowledge, skill and dispositions.

More information, and the student survey results, may be found at the Warhawks Prepared program Web site at:

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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