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Sept. 18, 2019

Students, staff join annual New York Hope exercise to practice disaster response skills

By Leah Newell, communication assistant


Three students and seven staff members from Northwest Missouri State University participated last month in New York Hope, a week-long field training exercise in domestic emergency rescue and response simulation at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany, New York.

Fifty college students from throughout the country took part in the program. They trained in emergency medical treatment, damage assessment, wilderness search and rescue, radio operations and regional coordinated disaster response. 

Northwest emergency disaster management majors who attended the training were Timothy Davis, a sophomore from Washburn, Missouri; Bailee Smothers, a junior from Buckner, Missouri; and Kyla Streeter, a sophomore from Papillion, Nebraska. 

Streeter said the training provided her with a better understanding of how intense disasters can be. She feels more confident in her skills after the experience she gained at New York Hope.

“I learned how to communicate in a larger group setting,” Streeter said. “We had to use everybody’s abilities the best that they could be used.”

Students also trained in swift water rescue and climbed through a pile of rubble to rescue survivors of a simulated tornado strike. The exercises also helped the students practice their cybersecurity skills.

“The Hope exercises focus on process skills such as leadership, active followership, highly effective team building and decision-making in a high-stress environment,” Dr. Mark Corson, professor of geography and chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, said. “The process skills benefit everyone who participates so they can think and react under pressure, communicate well in stressful environments, negotiate with potentially hostile people and be an excellent leader and follower. These skills are applicable to any career.”

The Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education (CSHE), the University Of Albany College Of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cyber Security, Elmira College and the University of Buffalo sponsor New York Hope.

The CHSE, a 501(c)3 non-profit that coordinates full immersion experiences for individuals in the fields of disaster response and humanitarian relief, also sponsors Missouri Hope each fall at Northwest and Florida Hope at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida in the spring.

Northwest will host this year’s iteration of Missouri Hope Oct. 4-6 at its Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704