Students on high alert preparing for disaster

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The mock control room, where module leader Nick Kealey is on hand to offer advice and information. Pic © Megan Stringer JMU Journalism

A house fire, a dead body on the train tracks, and a road traffic collision are just some of the scenarios that first year LJMU policing students had to deal with during the annual ‘Disaster Day’.

The event, which is in its third year, took place at the Emergency Services Training Centre in Birkenhead. It offers students a unique experience to deal with real-life scenarios in a safe environment.

The centre is equipped for various simulations, and has replicas of houses, hospitals, and even a train track outside. Helping with the event were members of the emergency services, past and present, to give advice and information to the trainee police officers.

There were five scenarios that students had to complete, and for each one a member of the group would have a radio to contact the mock control room, where module leader Nick Kealey would be.

He was on hand to guide the students, and offer information that may be relevant to the situation.

YouTube: Megan Stringer

Mr Kealey, lecturer at the Liverpool Centre for Policing Studies and module leader, told JMU Journalism: “Our programme is very strong academically, so the students wanted to do more of the ‘doing’ side of it all as part of their learning, so I spoke to Emergency Services Training Centre, and came up with the scenarios you have seen today.

“What they do is reinforce the learning and how to deal with victims and witnesses, issues about the importance of team building, and the approach that police officers need to take when they’re dealing with major incidents.”

The day started off with first aid and CPR training in the centre’s mockup of a hospital, complete with dummies to practice on.

Student Roxanna Tusa, who is acting as a woman who has been assaulted at a party. ©Megan Stringer, JMU Journalism

Also involved were level 5 and 6 policing students, as well as graduates who took on the part of roleplaying within the situations.

Roxanna Tusa, a second year student described her simulated trauma, telling JMU Journalism: “I’ve been assaulted by my boyfriend at a party, and I’m in a room trying to ask for help, but I am a Romanian girl, so have a language barrier.

“The students will have to get witness statements, try and translate with a translator and arrest my boyfriend for assaulting me, and call for ambulance.”

The next Disaster Day is to be held in February.

About Megan Stringer, JMU Journalism