The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, in partnership with the University at Albany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC), today announced it will host this year’s NY Hope Disaster Response exercise for 50 college students at the State Preparedness Training Center, August 9-12. The NY Hope exercise provides students with training for future roles in homeland security and emergency services. This year’s exercise builds on last year’s event held in Painted Post and will utilize many of the world-class training venues at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.

The four-day disaster response exercise gives 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.

During the training, participants will work together in teams to tackle challenges such as mass casualty situations, water rescue operations, secondary triage and treatment, damage assessment, wilderness search and rescue and emergency operations involving incident command and cyber incidents.

“Training the next generation of first responders is critically important to preserving the health and safety of New York’s citizens, and the NY Hope exercise offers students real-world disaster response training to help prepare them for future careers in public service,” said Roger L. Parrino, Sr., Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “The NY Hope exercise is another example of how our ongoing partnership with the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, is preparing tomorrow’s emergency services professionals.”

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

Students participating this week represent 10 different universities or colleges around the country including the University at Albany, Elmira College, UBuffalo, St. John Fisher, Northwest Missouri State University, the University of North Carolina-Asheville and four other academic institutions.

Of the 50 participants, 22 students represent the University at Albany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. Five of the students are Emergency Preparedness majors; 15 students are Homeland Security majors and two students are Cybersecurity majors.

“We are proud to partner with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in offering both our students, and those interested in emergency management from other institutions, with a crisis simulation experience that will introduce them to the challenges that come with responding to a real-world humanitarian disaster,” said UAlbany CEHC Dean Robert Griffin. “This simulation embodies the mission of our college, which is to combine high quality academics with experiential learning and training opportunities outside of the classroom.”

Each day, students will rotate from one training scenario to the next. For example, one student team will conduct damage assessments of a simulated collapsed structure at the training center’s urban search and rescue rubble pile while another team staffs an incident command center responsible for managing the structure collapse incident.

Other training scenarios include having teams staff and Emergency Operations Center to process reports; handling a simulated cyber security attack, and conducting a wilderness search and rescue of missing persons. Students will also receive rescue training from Office of Fire Prevention and Control technical rescue personnel at the state’s new Swift Water/Flood Rescue training facility. Using the new facility, students will learn how to use throw bags for rescuing people in swift water conditions, as well as observe 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.

About the SPTC

The State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC), operated by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, affords state, local, and federal agencies a complex of training venues to conduct the entire spectrum of training. From classroom lectures and discussions to reality- and high-performance scenario-based training, the SPTC offers opportunities for dynamic emergency first responder training. The SPTC offers agencies realistic training environments such as a simulated city, swift water and flood rescue center, residential housing complex, collapsed building rubble pile, woodland structures and other settings. Now in its 12th year of operation, the SPTC annually trains thousands of New York’s first responders, including law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), technical rescue and emergency management personnel, in a variety of areas including response to active shooter events, emergency vehicle operations, EMS special situations, and patrol officer survival.