UTC was one of 18 institutions selected to receive a U.S. Department of Education Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant worth nearly a half million dollars to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for emergency management. Across the United States, 327 institutions applied for the grant.
“Congratulations on being awarded this very important grant! Your dedication to the preparedness efforts within your institution and community is commendable…,” said Tara Hill, federal project officer (FPO), in a letter to K. Tim Pridemore. Pridemore, CFPS Emergency Management Specialist at UTC, wrote the grant for the University.
UTC will use the grant to develop and execute a security management plan addressing all of the Emergency Support Functions in the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework. This plan will include training for staff, faculty, students, and campus emergency personnel on effective responses to scenarios including severe weather and terrorism.
“Among the biggest projects we are planning is upgrading our emergency warning communication and engaging staff and faculty in training exercises,” Pridemore said. “Tabletop exercises have already begun for some offices and departments.”
With the assistance of the grant, UTC Office of Safety and Risk Management Manager Jim Pulliam says his staff will seek ways to connect academic programs to emergency management.
“In nursing, for instance, we want to provide faculty and students with National Incident Management System training,” Pulliam said. “We especially want to arm students with this valuable knowledge before they graduate, giving them a professional advantage as they begin their careers.”
Pridemore is also hoping to boost participation among students by providing CPR and First Aid classes.
As a former paramedic, fire chief, and assistant chief of operations and training, Pridemore’s experience is helpful in emergency planning at UTC, an integral part of the Chattanooga community. The University houses approximately one-third of its student body on campus and hosts thousands of area residents for conferences, classes, athletic events, and concerts on a yearly basis.