Patrick Henry College collaborated with local emergency, public safety agencies, and hospitals in a full-scale emergency drill in and around Patrick Henry College on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The goal of the exercise was to assess the readiness of all of local public safety agencies throughout the county to assure a coordinated, timely, and effective response and recovery in the event of a major incident in Loudoun County.
As violent crime on college campuses increases at an alarming rate, Patrick Henry College, alongside Loudoun County, seeks to be proactive in cultivating awareness and developing comprehensive response strategies to potential threats. Over 200 emergency personnel participated in the drill.
"We are grateful for the support and partnership we have with local law enforcement and first responders," said PHC President Jack Haye, “As part of our on-going efforts to ensure campus safety and emergency preparedness, PHC has worked with the following agencies to develop a comprehensive emergency response scenario: The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, Purcellville Police Department, Leesburg Police Department, Virginia State Police, Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office, Inova Loudoun Hospital Cornwall and Lansdowne, Stone Springs Medical Center, Loudoun County Office of Emergency Management, Loudoun County Parks and Recreation, and AirCare Helicopter Medevac service."
This exercise took place during October break. All students remaining on campus were made aware of the drill and several students volunteered to participate. While the exercise was closed to the general public, Loudoun County residents were made aware of the drill well in advance.
"PHC working alongside State, County and local Agencies took 18 months to organize the drill, fostering a greater working relationship between the college and everyone involved," said Paul Yancey, Campus Safety Chief at Patrick Henry College, "It was deemed a success even before the actual drill commenced on campus. Through the planning stages problem areas in some Agencies were identified and corrected immediately. During the drill all participants were evaluated on their performance providing both positive and negative feedback to be better prepared for any possible Active Shooter emergency. Venues like Patrick Henry College allow emergency responders to better prepare and train for a real-life emergency—one that we never want to experience."
Using Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), SafeWise named Purcellville as Virginia’s third safest town in 2016. Purcellville was found to have “a very low violent and property crime rates based on the town’s population,” according to reports.
Mayor Kwasi Fraser said in a statement, “I remain proud of our local and county law enforcement officials and their commitment to a safe community. Continued advancement in our community policing efforts, coupled with a vigilant and engaged citizen and business community, will ensure Purcellville remains a safe, inviting, and attractive place for individuals, businesses, and students."
The Campus Safety team at Patrick Henry College is established to provide for the immediate health, safety, and welfare of all persons and property upon the College campus. It is staffed, trained, and ready to serve and respond quickly, decisively, and professionally at all hours of the day and night, every day. Click the button to visit the Campus Safety page.