The University of Northern Iowa held the first ever emergency response fair sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency today on the campus in Cedar Falls. FEMA Region Seven spokesperson David Gervino says UNI is a good place for the so-called Ready Campus event.
“We just supply some best practices and ideas for the event — but it’s the university that brings their partners together — and I think you can tell by all the partners represented here today that the university already has very good existing relationships with community organizations,” Gervino says.
The event includes representatives from one dozen public safety organizations including the Red Cross, National Guard, Iowa State Patrol and Homeland Security. UNI Global Health professor, Michele Devlin, says the daylong event provides a chance for interaction in a nonemergency environment.
“Students have had a chance to wander around and actually meet with working professionals in the disaster relief field and talk to them about jobs, talk to them about volunteer opportunities, and ways that they can get more involved for purposes of their career,” Devlin says.
UNI is working toward the development of a Bachelors of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Services. Devlin says they hope to have that accomplished in about a year.