PGCC to Participate in Region-Wide Emergency Lockdown Exercise

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Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release

LARGO, Md. (April 30, 2018) -- Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) will participate in a region-wide emergency lockdown exercise, Operation EPiC Collaboration, on Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The exercise is part of a larger initiative to evaluate the college’s preparedness in the event of a mass attack and will be conducted by Ascenttra, a design firm certified to perform Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program instruction.

During the exercise, college officials, security and law enforcement, emergency responders, and the area hospital will experience and respond to the scenario of a complex coordinated attack perpetrated on the PGCC campus. The exercise is critical to the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff and will demonstrate the effectiveness of protocols established for real-life attacks.

“This drill is important to do because we have never incorporated EMS and fire partners in an emergency exercise like this before,” says Larry Walker, Prince George’s Community College Chief of Police and Emergency Management. “We have done training with people from all over the state, and we have worked quite a bit with our law enforcement partners.

“But all of those exercises always stop at the point where the threat is neutralized. And we know from seeing these types of events in other places that part of the event can be over very quickly, but there’s still so much work to be done getting injured people out, rescuing people who might be barricaded in place, and searching to make sure we’ve accounted for all victims.”

An OwlAlert message will be sent to notify the college community once the exercise has started and ended. Those on campus may see volunteers in realistic makeup acting as trauma victims, and should be prepared to follow instructions from emergency responders and the college police in the event that they are given.

The exercise should not disrupt classes; however, students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors should be aware of parking restrictions. Lot D and the first 6 parking lanes in Lot E will not be available for staff, faculty and students to use on Thursday, May 3 because of the exercise. College police will also close the Marlboro Loop. Individuals that need (or may require) handicap parking can park in the handicap parking lot at the rear of Lanham Hall.

Important Things to Know

Who should faculty, staff, and students contact for instructions about what to do during the drill?

James D. Weed Sr., MS.,MDPEMP
Emergency Preparedness Manager
College Police and Emergency Management
(O) 301-546-0763

Who (if any) is going to direct traffic?

Law enforcement will be on site to direct traffic to available parking.

How will you know the emergency exercise has started and ended?

A notification will be sent via Owl Alert to announce when the exercise starts and when it ends.

What should you do during the emergency exercise?

Students, faculty, and staff should continue their day as usual. There is no need to simulate what you would need to do during the exercise; however, it is advised that you review information for what to do in the event that there is a real-life active shooter incident. You can review information here:

Will this exercise disrupt classes?

The scheduled exercise will have no impact on classes. Classes will continue as scheduled and students will be able to enter and exit the building as usual. Be mindful of the parking changes that will be in effect during the exercise. 

Who will provide information and instructions to the students who are on the campus during the drill but are not in class?

Emergency officials will be on site and will instruct those not in classrooms to other areas if necessary. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff can follow @PGCCNews on Twitter for important notifications and updates during the exercise.

Should faculty and staff stack furniture against doors during the exercise?

Employees are not required to simulate the physical aspects of a lockdown, but they should discuss the emergency procedures and become familiar with lockdown procedures.

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.