WWU, local partners to conduct hazmat exercise Sept. 14

The Whatcom County Specialized Emergency Response Program (SERP), University Police Department, Environmental Health and Safety, and University Department Safety Coordinators will be conducting an in-person hazardous materials release exercise on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from approximately 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The exercise will take place in the tunnel system, but at least two SERP response vehicles will be parked in the parking area at AI and CF. There will be other vehicles using that parking area as well, including city fire and police department. It is likely SERP will have their gear and equipment laid out and people will be in hazmat suits in the parking lot as they walk back and for to the tunnels via the south door in CF and down the adjacent stairwell to the mechanical room in the basement. This exercise should not impact building occupants.

We like to encourage these exercises to increase SERP’s familiarity with Western buildings and campus, provide a joint training opportunity to UPD Dispatchers and Officers, EHS and Department Safety Coordinators and a general training environment for SERP to respond to an unknown incident and stabilize the release. We will place signs around the area indicating this is an exercise and not a real response, as well as have a knowledgeable person in the area to answer questions regarding the exercise.

SERP is a partnership between public and private enterprises for response to specialized emergency services, particularly hazardous materials incidents. Members come from City of Bellingham Fire and Police Departments, county fire departments, BP Cherry Point Refinery, Phillips 66, Bellingham Cold Storage and Western Washington University.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 - 10:10am