Tusculum University, local public safety agencies holding joint emergency drill to enhance everyone’s training

GREENEVILLETusculum University and local public safety agencies are teaming to hold an emergency drill as a proactive measure to enhance everyone’s training.

Shane Matthews

Shane Matthews

The group will hold an active shooter drill Friday, Dec. 15, on campus. The exercise will begin at 10 a.m. and should conclude by about 11:30 a.m.

“We emphasize that this is a drill, and the public should not think an actual emergency is taking place on campus,” said Shane Matthews, the university’s chief of campus safety. “We will take this training seriously, however, and simulate what might transpire were this a real event so that we will be prepared should we ever have to address such an incident. We hope we never have to apply what we learn to a real-life scenario, but we need to participate in this training as part of our responsibility to those we serve.”

Tusculum faculty, staff and students will be part of the drill. Tusculum will send messages through the university’s emergency alert system that include information about the scenario and how Tusculum family members should respond as if this were actually happening. Each message, though, will reinforce that this situation is just a drill.

Signs will be placed on campus to remind all Tusculum family members and anyone who might pass the university that participants are engaged in a drill.

“We are grateful to our campus safety team and the entire public safety community in Greene County for developing this exercise,” said Dr. Scott Hummel, Tusculum’s president. “Safety is paramount on our campus, and this drill will strengthen our knowledge and teamwork with our community partners.”

Public safety personnel who are participating in this drill will not only collaborate with the university but also each other to produce a desirable outcome. Their actions will be similar to the moves they would make in a real situation, including their methods of communication with each other and engaging in tactics necessary to resolve the scenario successfully.

Agencies that will participate in the exercise are:

  • Greene County Sheriff’s Department
  • Greeneville Police Department
  • City of Tusculum Police Department
  • Tusculum University Office of Campus Safety
  • Greeneville Fire Department
  • City of Tusculum Fire Department
  • Greene County Emergency Medical Service
  • Greeneville-Greene County Emergency Management Agency

“We have worked extensively with representatives of the university and these public safety agencies to plan a successful drill,” said Heather Sipe, EMA director. “This drill will enable all of us to ensure we have the most efficient and effective methods in place to protect those we serve. The drill will also develop even closer connections among all participants.”

Anyone with questions can contact Sipe at Heather.Sipe@greenecountytn.gov or 423-798-1729.