ECU Crisis Management Classroom Provides Unique Tools for WTAMU

June 25, 2018

CONTACT:    Jaclyn Inkhamheng, 806-651-2689, jinkhamheng@wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

ECU Crisis Management Classroom Provides Unique Tools for WTAMU

 

CANYON, Texas—The College of Education and Social Sciences at West Texas A&M University is home to the newly completed Education Credit Union Crisis Management Classroom, where students and the community will participate in simulations designed to prepare them to respond and recover from crises.

The classroom, located in Old Main, Room 216, is endowed by the Education Credit Union as an educational tool that will benefit the course curriculum in WTAMU’s criminal justice and emergency management administration programs. It also will help in the training of community members—first responders, city government and school personnel—on what to do and how to react and recover in the event of a disaster.

“We are grateful to Gregg Bynum and the Education Credit Union for making this classroom possible,” Dr. Walter Wendler, University president, said. “This classroom is a game changer in terms of teaching and preparing our students in the handling of disasters, active shooters and school violence. The technology, combined with our faculty expertise, definitely gives us a unique educational tool rarely found on a university campus.”

The classroom also will play a role in the University’s proposed Doctor of Education program by preparing and training prospective school leaders to respond to emergency situations specific to rural schools.

“We believe this classroom and the training provided will benefit the entire area for years to come,” Gregg Bynum, president and CEO of Education Credit Union, said.

Dr. Harry Hueston, professor of criminal justice, said the room is set up like an actual emergency operations center with five desks, five computers and two 72-inch television screens. The five separate work areas are tied together with a patented computer application called Virtual Emergency Operation Center Internet or VEOCI. The application provides a new way to manage disasters either through real time or with specially created emergencies.

WTAMU is the fifth university in the country to have a VEOCI system but the first to use it as an educational tool.

VEOCI personnel will travel to Canyon later this summer to conduct boot camp training in the new classroom. Hueston said faculty and key campus members will be joined by local first responders, city government and school administrators to learn about VEOCI and how it works.

“I am ecstatic,” Hueston said. “Our role as a university is to work with the community by coming together to solve community issues. We know what kind of disasters can hit us, but what we don’t know is what and how we are going to react. We can do that in this room.”

About Education Credit Union: Education Credit Union has been serving the Texas Panhandle for more than 80 years and is dedicated to being the preferred financial provider through all stages of life. ECU is open to anyone living, working, worshiping or going to school within a 10-mile radius of any of its six branch locations. Education Credit Union has a variety of services including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and the most advanced mobile products.

 

—WTAMU—


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