Hamilton College hosts emergency response training

The air national guard lands a CH-47 helicopter on a rugby field at Hamilton College. Kicking off a week of emergency response training on the campus.

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 6:55 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2019 7:02 PM

CLINTON, N.Y - If you live near Hamilton College, you may have noticed a significant amount of police activity on campus monday afternoon.

The college hosted emergency response training for the 10th year. The college hosted multiple agencies including the State Police, Air National Guard, and a representative of the FBI.

At 12:30pm that afternoon, an air national guard, CH-47 helicopter landed on the rugby field dropping off a side by side vehicle as well as a small response team.

The goal of the week long program is to practice scenarios throughout the campus.

"We look at scenarios that are different than what we've had. A lot of the stuff could happen on campus and that's what brought us here today," said Wayne Gentile.

Lance Woodard is the Deputy Director of the 2nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team. His team was brought in because of a scenario the agencies were practicing. He went on to describe that situation and why his team would be called in.

"We look at what happened on college today. Hamilton College security found something. They went and coordinated with the state police on what the situation might be. Once they realize they have exhausted capabilities or they don't have the correct capabilities to identify what might happen in a weapon of mass destruction scenario, we are the next level," said Woodard.

The mass shooting in New Zealand that killed 50 people highlight the importance of having exercises such as these.

"I think its scary, you know when I grew up it was the fire drills that were the big drill that you did. Its a scary time to grow up. What we are hoping here is that the students have a good sense of safety and security when they come here. Knowing that we are at least doing everything that we can to minimize any dangers on campus," said Gentile.

"Its great to conduct training so I understand the capabilities of the first responders, I get to know who they are personally. So when an incident does happen in the future its not the first time I'm meeting them," said Woodard.

The exercises will take place on the campus until Thursday. The reason the campus was chosen for the exercises was its central location to the surrounding agencies, as well as the college's willingness to offer their campus for use.

The exercises are closed to the public.

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