Emergency Management Simulation Center

The Emergency Management Simulation Center consists of two simulation laboratories within the Haaren Hall Expansion Project at John Jay College. The Emergency Management Simulator is a 32-station environment that replicates a typical regional or organizational emergency operations center. The High-rise Simulator is a 24-station environment that replicates typical security and alarm control stations in high-rise buildings.  The Center also includes a 5-station observation and simulation management room that can oversee both simulators.

The purpose of the Simulation Center is to support research, instruction and training in emergency management and incident dynamics.

Emergency Management Simulator Floorplan

Simulations and Training Exercises

The Center will support the following types of simulations:

Instructional Simulations: With support from the Dart Foundation, the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis (ACIA) is supporting the design of several instructional simulations that rely on the ACIA Archive of incident media and documentation.

  • Decisions in Crisis is a course that includes set of simulations that will be used in undergraduate majors that prepare students for leadership roles in justice, emergency management, fire protection and security management organizations. In the Emergency Management Simulator, teams of students will be presented with evolving incidents and will be challenged to make decisions, applying what they have learned about incident management, incident command, leadership, incident dynamics, communications and related topics.
  • Science Foundations for Emergency Management and Response is an undergraduate science course that applies the principles of physics, chemistry, and biology to the prevention, management, and initial response to emergencies.This course reviews the physics and chemistry of combustion, toxic and hazardous materials, and weapons of mass destruction including explosives and poisons.  In addition, it will review biological and medical principles associated with initial response to trauma in emergent settings and associated with public health emergencies; the principles of geology and meteorology associated with natural disasters; and the principles of physics and electronics associated with emergency communication, monitoring, and alarm systems.  Because of the nature of the phenomena involved, such as building collapses, explosions and epidemics, the laboratory components of the course will be simulated, using the Emergency Management Simulator as an instructional laboratory.

Training Simulations: With the support of the Dart Foundation, faculty members at John Jay are designing a set of simulation-based training exercises to assess and improve the skills of college administrators, security managers, counselors, faculty members and mental health professions to identify and constructively respond to risks of self-injury, violence, terrorism, trauma and disruption in campus environments. The training simulations will take place in the Emergency Management Simulator.

Interoperability-Based Training: The technical plan for the Center includes the goal of interoperability with communication and emergency management systems of CUNY Public Safety as well as other agencies within the New York City region. A threshold goal is to provide a training environment for emergency management professionals in the region – an environment that can realistically replicate the technologies and systems that the trainees use in their own agencies.

Real-Time Incident Monitoring: The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies at John Jay College will be using the Simulation Center as part of a project to monitor major incidents on a real-time basis, to archive public information in ways that could support future research and training. It is also envisioned that some agencies might use the Center for after-incident reviews, integrating the public information with agency records, in support of comprehensive evaluations of incident management. The real-time incident monitoring will also contribute to the develop of the ACIA Archive, because all information collected will be permanently maintained in digital formats in the ACIA Archive.

System Prototyping: The Center will also provide an environment for the development and testing of the City University of New York All Campus Emergency Management System. (CUNY ACEMS) This system will be a significant part of future emergency management planning and operations for CUNY.

Service as a back-up CUNY Emergency Operations Center

The Center is located next to the Security Command Center for John Jay College. The electrical power for the Center is integrated with the emergency power system for the core of the Haaren facility.

The technical design of the Security Command Center is not complete, but the goal is that the Simulation Center will be able to function as an operational emergency command and operations center should the need arise. On the same floor as the center there are additional instructional computer laboratories, large conference rooms and meeting rooms, and it is envisioned that in a regional emergency these spaces could be used in support of the emergency command center.

Space and Equipment

The space plan for the Simulation Center was presented at the start of this summary. The development of the space is fully-funded, and the construction is underway. The current construction schedule envisions that the space will be available for occupancy during Fall 2011.

Much of the equipment for the Emergency Management Simulator has been funded. There are three basic categories of equipment:

Furniture: All of the furniture and seating is specified and funded.

Workstations: Each workstation will be equipped with a desktop computer with several screens. The workstations will have access to the internet and will be able to access local servers.

Video Displays: Large video displays have been specified and ordered, so that all participants in a simulation can see the same information when this is appropriate.

Integration of Video and Display: Equipment is specified and funded to enable video and display information to be routed from any source to any display in the Center.