The University of Central Arkansas recently completed training to prepare for possible natural and man-made disasters that may impact the campus, according to a news release.

More than 200 UCA staff, faculty and administrators took part in National Incident Management System training. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a structured framework used nationwide by governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to disasters and emergencies, according to the Department of Homeland Security website. NIMS, developed in 2004, allows organizations to work together to reduce the loss of life, destruction of property and harm to the environment.

Members of the UCA Police Department, Executive Staff, Finance and Administration, Housing, Physical Plant, Student Services, Student Health, Counseling Center and Environmental Health and Safety have received NIMS training for their level of response.

The university has also revised its Emergency Operations Plan, which works hand in hand with the NIMS training.

"I am very pleased that most of the faculty, staff and administrators at UCA have completed this training. We all appreciate the work of the UCA Police Department, and the leadership of Chief Larry James, in this training effort," said UCA President Tom Courtway. "Safety, security and preparedness are critical to the living and learning environment of our students, as well as for our faculty, staff and visitors to our campus."

NIMS training is designed to communicate responsibilities for all levels of response from first responders on the scene and information officers to the university’s administration.

"In the event of an emergency or disaster occurring on our campus, there is the possibility that we will be on our own until outside agencies can assist us," said UCA Police Chief Larry James. "The knowledge of this structured framework used nationwide will be invaluable. The campus’s commitment to completing this training indicates that emergency preparedness is a priority at UCA."

The implementation of these aggressive training and planning activities will enable the university to respond to any event in an efficient manner, said David Maxwell, director and Homeland Security Advisor, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

"We appreciate UCA’s implementation of NIMS into their planning efforts," Maxell said.