UNLV teaches emergency managers how to handle crisis

Graduated of UNLV's Crisis Management program are called to action. (KSNV)

When an active shooter turned up in Las Vegas, emergency managers were ready. Now, those same crisis managers are preparing for the Las Vegas New Year celebration and events like the Las Vegas Rock And Roll Marathon, next weekend.

Many of the managers around the valley have gotten their training through UNLV’s Crisis and Emergency Management graduate program. Graduates include people like Sheriff Lombardo, Sheriff Young, and many other high-level managers and first responders in the valley.

Professor Sandy Mangold teaches classes there and first learned how to handle a crisis working at NASA in mission control.

"You have to plan for the unexpected and that is certainly what we did in the space shuttle," said Mangold.

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North Las Vegas Emergency Manager Calito Rayos graduated from the program in 2010. Rayos helped North Las Vegas get a $70,000 grant to put together a new Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) truck. The truck will have medical supplies in the event of a major emergency at places like NASCAR and Electric Daisy Carnival.

"The raceway is in unincorporated Clark County, but North Las Vegas Fire and police department would be the first in the area to save the lives," said Rayos.

Rayos said the truck could be a resource outside the local community during a major emergency. This smaller MCI, will complement the larger MCI unit Clark County Fire Department has created. The Clark County MCI unit was used during the 1 October shooting as a resource for its medical and ballistic supplies. Rayos said this smaller unit can be utilized in tighter spaces and back-up the larger unit county has at Station 33.

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City of Las Vegas Emergency Manager, Carolyn Levering, is also a graduate of the program. She is preparing for Las Vegas Rock n Roll marathon. She said her team has been preparing for the marathon and has put many more security measures in place in light of the Las Vegas shooting and the incident in Manhattan this past week when a man, claiming to be affiliated with ISIS, ran into a group of cyclists.

"The biggest problem is if someone sees something and doesn't say anything and it turns out to be something really real," said Levering.

Professor Mangold has held two active shooter scenarios in Las Vegas for students participating in the course. Mangold said expecting the unexpected in natural disasters and other tragic events is a learning process that never stops.

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