First responders from across Central Florida will gather at UCF Thursday, March 12, for a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise.

The exercise will test agencies’ response capabilities, including timely and accurate communication, command response and information sharing. Ultimately, the goal is to give participants an opportunity to exercise their response and improve protocols for dealing with future emergencies.

The exercise will be led by UCF’s Office of Emergency Management and UCF Police.

“Cooperation and coordination are the keys to every successful operation,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary. “Working together makes us all perform better when responding to critical situations, and these types of training exercises prepare us for the worst case scenario.”

Classes will not be impacted due to that week’s spring break, and additional campus activities scheduled for that week will not be impacted. Parts of campus will be closed or have limited access in order to accommodate the exercise.

Participants will include volunteers and representatives from the state, region, state universities, local colleges, and aid agencies.

“This exercise will highlight our commitment to campus safety and partnership, giving UCF the opportunity to work closely with many of our community partners,” said Jeff Morgan, UCF’s director of Security and Emergency Management. “An exercise of this size could not be done without a team effort, the same team that would help UCF get back to normalcy during an actual emergency or disaster.”

The full-scale exercise will run from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the majority of the activity will take place in the northeast part of campus near Memory Mall. In addition, 15 area hospitals will exercise their capabilities for providing critical care response as they receive people playing patients with varying degrees of trauma.

Additional iterations of a portion of the exercise focused on coordinated joint response by police and medical personnel will take place at UCF Thursday afternoon and throughout Friday inside the Performing Arts Center and the Visual Arts Building.

The exercise is not open to the public, but volunteer registration for the UCF portion of the exercise is still open. Sign up is available at Select the incident site for the preferred participation site.

Media is invited to learn more and participate in portions of the exercise. Those media members interested should contact Courtney Gilmartin before March 6 at