An emergency training exercise will be held on the BHSU campus Thursday, June 14 from 8 a.m. until early afternoon. Please notify friends and neighbors so they are not alarmed while this exercise is taking place.

The South Dakota National Guard and the Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management will be participating in this full scale exercise. Also participating are Black Hills State University staff and students, Spearfish Volunteer Fire Department, Spearfish Police Department, S.D. Highway Patrol, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Spearfish Ambulance Service, Spearfish Regional Hospital and the S.D. Office of Emergency Management.

During the training exercise, which is a part of Operation Joint Thunder, there will be an influx of military and emergency vehicles including helicopters, ambulances, and other vehicles on campus. Emergency personnel from a number of agencies will participate.

The functional exercise, which will include the simulated release of a chemical agent, is designed to introduce an emergency scenario and create interaction between the military and emergency responders. The training exercise includes an attack in Wenona Cook Hall. The exercise will begin with a loud signal followed by smoke to simulate a chemical emergency.  There will be more than 40 volunteer “victims” dressed in protective outfits designed look like real causalities.

There will be designated parking areas for spectators and exercise personnel available to make sure the public is directed to pre-established areas for viewing.  The general public is being asked to watch for signs for instructions for parking and viewing in the area of the BHSU Young Center.

The campus will not be evacuated for the exercise. There may be delays in traffic around the campus due to emergency response vehicles arriving and departing. Please plan for this disruption and alert others in your area who do not have access to email of this training exercise.

If you have questions or concerns, please call Campus Security at 641-6988.

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