April 25, 2018  

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First-ever Sports Safety and Security Radiological Response Exercise Conducted in Mississippi held at USM Jan. 18

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Captain Rusty Keyes of USM University Police, left, goes over plans with fellow participants in a sports safety and security radiological response exercise Jan. 18 on the Hattiesburg campus.

A sports safety and security radiological response exercise, facilitated by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), was held at M. M. Roberts Stadium, Wednesday, Jan. 18 on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. This was the first coordinated exercise of its kind to be conducted on a university campus in the state.

The exercise focused on building response capabilities for radiological incidents. The scenario allowed participants to discuss local, state, and federal support and expectations. The discussion followed with an opportunity to dispatch response teams inside the stadium in an effort to train and build multi-agency collaboration. Following the exercise, participants discussed the lessons learned and areas for improvement. 

"It's a way for us to study what we should do and create lessons learned. If an incident should occur in a stadium we want to be prepared," said Lou Marciani, director of NCS4. "So, we'll take those lessons learned and put them into best practices and hopefully, we can help other major universities in this country." 

Participants in the exercise included the University Police Department; Forrest County Emergency Management; Hattiesburg Fire Department; Mississippi Department of Public Health; 47th Civil Support Team; and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

“We want to build relationships now so that we aren’t exchanging business cards at the scene of an incident. A radiological response isn’t something you practice frequently, so getting the right people and organizations involved is critical to building community and state resilience,” said NCS4 Director of Training and Integrated Systems Daniel Ward.

For more information about NCS4, visit http://www.ncs4.com.