Students train for unified response in mass crisis simulation

Monday, July 22, 2019
Written by: Emily Hollingshead

In the field, public safety officials and health care providers face a series of challenges on an ever-changing landscape. Responding to these challenges quickly and appropriately is what they are trained to do for the safety of the community. Seminole State College of Florida’s Center for Public Safety organized a massive inter-department simulation on Friday, July 19, to present students with the opportunity for hands-on training.

The simulation took place at the Center for Public Safety at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus where students responded to a fictional call about a deliberate fire set at an assisted living facility. Seven different disciplines under the College took part:

Students from the Center for Public Safety responded to the scene, handled threats and transported patients to the staged emergency room. There, students from nursing, respiratory care and pharmacy technology treated developing patient issues including burns and head trauma. 

“In the real-world these professions overlap and interact a great deal. They don’t work in silos, so our students can’t either,” said Angel Nater, program manager for emergency medical services. “The purpose of the exercise was to get the students out of their silos so they can practice professional communication under stressful conditions.” 

Before the exercise, Courtney Stewart, who completed the law enforcement program in July 2019, said she hoped to learn how to work under pressure with other people and see all the different stages of the situation from beginning to end. “Not always do law enforcement officers get to see the entire process,” Stewart said, “and this will give a good overview of the different roles everyone is responsible for.”

Representatives from CAE (formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics), Orlando Health, Seminole County Emergency Management and Lake Mary Police Department were on site to ensure the simulation ran safely. Between student volunteers, faculty, actors and community partners over 100 people were involved in the exercise.

“This is the first year we are doing a simulation this size across this many departments,” said Professor of Nursing and Laboratory Coordinator Starla Lowry. “We are grateful to our community partners for participating and for helping to make this possible. When we have public health and safety personnel who are trained and prepared for any situation, it is ultimately our community that benefits.” 

About the Center for Public Safety

Seminole State's Center for Public Safety is a statewide educational resource for all aspects of criminal justice, fire science and EMS. In addition to preparing future first responders, the Center for Public Safety provides advanced, specialized and in-service training for current law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The College also offers students an Associate in Science degree in all three disciplines. Visit for more information.