These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes.
October 31, 2007
Cougar Football Gives Free Admission to Firefighters, Police
The College of the Canyons is offering free admission to firefighters and police officers and their families to the Saturday, Nov. 3 Cougar football game, as a thank you for efforts provided during the rampant wildfires that plagued the Santa Clarita Valley last week.
“There were so many people who were affected by last week’s fires,” COC head football coach Garett Tujague said. “We wanted to make sure that we acknowledged the first responders who so diligently worked to keep our valley safe. This is only a small token of our appreciation.”
Firefighters and police officers must show proper identification at the ticket booth to receive admission for themselves and family members.
The Cougars kick off against L.A. Harbor at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening in the last regular season home game. Canyons is in a tie for first place with Bakersfield College and holds a 7-1 overall record and is 5-0 in conference play.
October 30, 2007
College to Adopt Emergency Notification System
With earthquakes, wildfires and other campus emergencies a constant concern for colleges and universities across the state, College of the Canyons has announced that it will be installing a new Emergency Campus Notification system to better communicate with the college’s many students, staff and faculty members in the event of such an emergency.
The college’s new Emergency Campus Notification (ECN), produced by NEC Unified Solutions, Inc., is a software-based management system, designed specifically for mass notification, which provides a centralized and user-friendly command center for alerting and notifying different groups on campus.
NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. is a global leader in VoIP and data communications technology, serving markets in the education, government, healthcare and hospitality industries with a portfolio of solutions for wireless, unified communications, voice, data and management services.
At College of the Canyons the ECN will provide the ability to send both new and pre-programmed voice or text messages, either immediately or at pre-determined times, to alert first responders about any type of campus emergency while also quickly disseminating notification messages to a variety of communication destinations including: pagers, home, office and cellular telephone numbers, SMS text messages, e-mail accounts and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
“It’s a very user-friendly program, and was the only system on the market that integrated our existing communication system and would work seamlessly with all of our current equipment,” said Jim Schrage, COC dean of facilities. “We will be able to pre-program hundreds of different types of messages, depending on what emergency we could potentially be dealing with, and at the push of a button we can decide the message we want to send and pick what groups on campus we want to send it out to. Within ten seconds we can send out whatever we need to, wherever we need to and in whatever format we need to.”
Sold to College of the Canyons by Digital Telecommunications Corp. (DTC), at a cost of roughly $52,000, the ECN system should serve as the long-term solution to all the college’s emergency communication needs, Schrage said.
“By selecting ECN for mass alerts and notifications, College of the Canyons is on the leading edge of campus safety awareness,” said Ray Maccani, vice president of sales for DTC. “As one of just a few NEC dealers with specialized expertise in vertical markets, DTC is dedicated to providing higher education institutions with the latest communications solutions for improved safety and learning.”
Another key factor in the college’s decision to implement the new ECN system was the ability to utilize the popularity of text messages as the preferred form of communication among COC students in alerting them to a campus emergency.
“We know from our student’s behavior that most will check their text messages almost instantly, so in the event of a campus emergency this system should allow us to be able to quickly communicate with a significant portion of the student population,” said Michael Wilding, COC assistant superintendent and vice president of student services. “They all text message, so you have to be able to provide the message in a way they are going to get it.”
Though the ECN does have the capacity to contact students, staff and faculty via home and office telephone lines, both Wilding and Schrage are quick to point out the importance for members of the college community to keep updated cellular contact information on file with the college in order to take full advantage of the system’s capabilities.
“It’s critical that students keep their contact information up to date or they run the risk of not receiving such important messages,” Schrage said.
With an estimated six to eight week system installation period, college officials plan to begin sending out sample messages and testing the new software at some point this semester, with a goal to be fully operational before the end of the year.
“We’ve always had people at the college who could handle the on-campus elements of a major emergency, but we've never had the ability to instantly notify the rest of the college community and tell people to stay away from campus,” Schrage said, “so this really completes our emergency communication loop.”
October 26, 2007
College Sustainable Development Committee to Make Presentation on China
Taking a look at the environmental impact of modernization and the vast economic expansion currently taking place in China, the College of the Canyons Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) will host a special presentation on China and Sustainability from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday October 31, in Aliso Hall room 108 on the Valencia campus.
Sharing with audience members the various environmental viewpoints, observations and experiences stemming from a COC educational travel trip to China last summer, event presenters Carrie DuShey and Diane Morey will show a multimedia presentation depicting some of the environmental impacts associated with the country's rapid growth.
DuShey, a PhD student who also holds an MBA and a master’s in Asian studies with a specialization in China, has visited the country three times since 2001 and has become increasingly familiar with the various issues facing the Chinese culture.
“China is her passion,” said SDC Chair Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine. “She has visited China a few times in the past with an eye for business, but during the last trip she shifted her focus to begin looking at China as a country with the potential to help the world move toward sustainability.”
DuShey’s presentation “The Waters of Modernity” will look at both the business and environmental impacts of China’s ongoing modernization process, while specifically examining the impact of western business and the massive Yangtze River Three Gorges Dam project — which ranks as the largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
“Basically what I’m focusing on is the impact of modernity, and with modernity the coming of globalization, and the social and environmental impact it will have on China,” DuShey said. “It’s the largest dam in the world, so although they’re saying the project is a great thing because the dam will decrease the use of coal and create new power, the construction of the dam itself is a huge environmental concern.”
As the second part of the presentation, Diane Morey, assistant director and chair of the college’s nursing program, will discuss the rapid construction, increased tourism and surrounding issues affecting China’s natural environment.
“The purpose is to provide an overview of the culture of China and the influence of other cultures on the country and to look at how that has effected the environment, while allowing the audience to have an understanding of China and the many factors impacting Chinese environmental issues,” Morey said.
October 24, 2007
College of the Canyons a Leader in Sustainability
Though perhaps not widely known, College of the Canyons has a long history of employing a wide variety of energy-saving and environmentally friendly practices in its campus operations, maintenance and construction.
Even before concepts such as sustainable development, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and “green building” became popular, College of the Canyons had already emerged as an energy-efficient and environmentally responsible community college.
Though the college utilizes a number of energy- and water-saving techniques, a wide-scale campus recycling program and environmentally conscious building strategies — including the use of more natural light, recycled building materials and natural landscaping — the most significant environmental undertaking has been the construction of water-distributing and energy-cogenerating central plants.
Housing chillers, boilers and cooling towers in a centralized location, each of the college’s three central plants serves as a single source of both hot and chilled water, which is used to heat and cool air and produce a potable water supply for multiple buildings on campus.
The use of central plants differs significantly from the common practice of constructing a new building that provides sufficient heating, cooling and hot water to only that building.
“That is a tremendous waste of natural resources, as the efficiency of a per-building approach is much less than a single, larger facility that can serve several buildings at one time,” said Jim Schrage, dean of facilities at the college. “When a campus becomes a conglomeration of 30 or 40 buildings encompassing 600,000 to 700,000 square feet, the combined inefficiencies and waste of separate systems is enormous. But this has never been the case at College of the Canyons.”
Though the college originally began with a central plant — housed on the roof of Bonelli Hall — Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook began applying for funds to construct a more significant central plant as the campus started to expand in the early 1990s.
Although the state originally opposed the project because it saw no viable benefit, Van Hook eventually secured funding for the college’s central plant project, which was the first of its kind in the California community college system.
With the college’s continued growth came a remodeling of the original Bonelli Hall central plant, the construction and subsequent remodeling and expansion of the south campus central plant near Mentry Hall, and the addition of a third such facility on the north side of the campus. Combined, the central plants serve all of the college’s current buildings and facilities — and boast sufficient reserve capacity for the eventual buildout of the campus.
In addition, both the north and south central plants have been equipped with cogeneration capabilities, allowing the college to produce its own electrical power via natural gas-fired generators. Waste heat from their exhaust produce both hot and cold water for normal central plant functions.
“This allows us to dramatically cut our power costs,” Schrage said. “We’re not only saving large amounts of natural resources in our production, we’re also reducing the demand on the public energy grid by saving the loss of resources in the manufacture of power previously needed for our campus.”
The projects have been successful enough for the college to receive electric and gas utility rebates in the neighborhood of $1 million, Schrage said. The rebates have come via an energy-saving program initiated by the California community college system, which was recently recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
“College of the Canyons is very proud to be one of the largest beneficiaries of the statewide program, and to be recognized where it counts — in the pocketbook — by Southern California Gas and Southern California Edison for our success in creating projects that will save and continue to save our natural resources and environment,” Schrage said.
In addition to the use of central plants, the college has adopted a policy of using as many recycled construction materials as possible, including 100 percent recycled carpet and rubber flooring, drywall with recycled paper backing, plywood made from recycled paper and mill waste chips, and concrete and paving materials composed of recycled concrete, asphalt and rock.
As another major component of its eco-friendly campus-expansion plans, the college has sought to reduce external environmental effects on many new buildings by positioning them in the correct orientation of the sun’s path.
“Whenever possible we have put our largest glass window fronts facing east or north, which allows us the full benefit of natural lighting without the potential overload of the late afternoon sun,” Schrage said, pointing to the design of Hasley Hall, the Library and Performing Arts Center as examples.
With the use of more natural light has also come the installation of motion-sensor lights in every room on campus, the retrofitting of all campus lights with energy-saving bulbs and electrical fixtures, and a computer-controlled lighting system that can be programmed to externally turn campus lights on and off at predetermined times – saving electricity, bulbs and manpower in the process.
Also contributing to the college’s efforts to remain environmentally responsible are water conservation through the adoption of natural and drought-resistant landscaping, the use of a computer-controlled irrigation system, waterless no-flush restroom urinals and the move to an artificial FieldTurf playing surface — composed of rubber from recycled tires and sneakers — at Cougar Stadium.
From a recycling standpoint, College of the Canyons has for the last five years been in compliance with the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s initiative to reducing total solid-waste generation by at least 50 percent.
“This has been done with an aggressive recycling program, the separation of green waste and composting efforts, the recycling of electronic e-waste and the separation of construction materials into like categories before disposal,” Schrage said. “Together, this campus has been able to substantially reduce our landfill output.”
October 24, 2007
College Participates in Child and Adult Care Food Program
The Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Center participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program. To ensure access to the program by children within our community, we are required to notify the media in our service area of our participation in the program.
For more information about this program, please contact Diane Stewart at (661) 362-3503. Stewart is dean of the college’s early childhood education and training programs.
Free Eligibility Scale—Lunch, Breakfast, Milk
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
For each additional family member, add:
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
Reduced-Price Eligibility Scale—Lunch, Breakfast
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
For each additional family member, add:
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
October 24, 2007
College of the Canyons Theatre Breathes Life into ‘Cabaret’
The Theatre Department has brought the Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical “Cabaret” to the Performing Arts Center stage during the month of October.
The final performances of “Cabaret” will be held at 8 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. Oct. 28.
Hailed as “the best show on Broadway” by the New York Post, “Cabaret” follows the budding romance between Sally Bowles, an English nightclub singer and Cliff Bradshaw, a struggling American writer during the tumultuous upheaval of 1930s Berlin, on the cusp of the Nazis’ rise to power.
“‘Cabaret’ is not your typical musical,” said director Mark Salyer. “It has great production numbers and the music is wonderful and clever, but this show is about the demise of a culture. I believe ‘Cabaret’ is one of the most important musical theatre pieces of the century.”
With a cast of 31 members, Salyer said the COC production of “Cabaret” includes “probably the most ambitious and beautiful designs we’ve ever done.”
“Cabaret” made its Broadway debut in 1966 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won eight, including for Best Musical, Best Composer and Best Choreography. The 1998 revival of the musical took home Tony Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor and Best Actress.
October 19, 2007
Sustainable Development Committee to Host Second October Event
As part of the College of the Canyons Sustainable Development Committee’s schedule of October events, community members are invited to attend an environmentally themed discussion of the novel “So Far From God,” by Ana Castillo.
Taking place Wednesday, October 24, from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the College of the Canyons library, room 206, the discussion will be led by faculty member Alene Terzian.
Following the lives of a contemporary Chicana family living in a small village in New Mexico, “So Far From God” depicts the novel's four main characters and collection of surrounding town residents directly dealing with a number of current social issues including: industrial pollution, Middle Eastern politics, class struggle, the AIDS epidemic, natural medicine and the environmental justice movement — while also portraying five journeys of female success and self-actualization.
“This presentation is actually a repeat of a discussion we hosted last semester, which the campus community really responded to and requested we do again,” said Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, chair of the College of the Canyons Sustainable Development Committee (SDC). “The book will make you laugh, cry, and more importantly see hope in how we go about our daily activities.”
The book discussion of Ana Castillo’s novel “So Far From God,” is the second of three SDC hosted Wednesday events taking place on campus in October. Following the October 24 book discussion will be an October 31 special presentation on China and Sustainability.
October 18, 2007
Strength And Conditioning Coach To Give Free Seminar
College of the Canyons strength and conditioning coach Robert dos Remedios will conduct a one-hour “Real World Fitness” seminar, sponsored by the COC Student Health and Wellness Center and Student Nutrition and Wellness Advocates (SNAC), from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 on the campus of COC.
“There is a lot of misconceptions on how to train,” nutrition and wellness coordinator for the COC Student Health Center Sheri Barke said. “People often focus on quantity, time and specific body parts and if a person focuses on quality not quantity, they can get a much better workout.”
Coach Dos, who recently wrote the book “Men’s Health Power Training,” which was released in September 2007 will discuss effective and efficient training sessions, common gym errors, misconceptions about weight training and much more.
“Dos is so good at giving efficient workouts and he knows how to train in a quality way,” Barke said. “He trains athletes and focuses on performance. If people trained for performance the physique will come as a result.”
Coach Dos is the state of California's first full-time community college strength and conditioning coach. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a USA Weightlifting Certified Club Coach and holds a master’s degree in kinesiology. A four-time finalist for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s prestigious Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year award, Coach Dos won the award in 2006, making him the only community college strength coach to ever be named National Collegiate Strength Coach of the Year.
The event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation is suggested. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Following the seminar in Boykin Hall 105, there will be a Q & A and book signing until 6 p.m.
October 12, 2007
Cougar Football Teams Up with LETMESAIL
The football team and LETMESAIL (Lifestyle Enrichment Through Meaningful Exercise, Social Activity and Independent Living) announced the co-sponsorship of the first SNAP (Special Needs Athletes and Peers) Flag Football League Tournament, which will be held at Cougar Stadium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Admission to the tournament is free and open to the public. A total of eight teams from our area and the San Diego area will participate. A one-hour clinic will be conducted for the LETMESAIL members with the Cougar coaching staff and players that will focus on basic football skills.
“I think this will be a great experience for our staff and players as we give back to the community that gives us so much support,” said College of the Canyons head football coach Garett Tujague. “College of the Canyons is Santa Clarita’s college, and as a member of this community it is always good to contribute and show support for other organizations. SNAP is doing wonderful things, and Cougar football is honored that we can be a part of that.”
LETMESAIL, a lifestyle enrichment program for differently abled individuals with disabilities, in conjunction with the Canyon Country Outlaws of the Pacific Youth Football League foster mentor relationships with the senior Outlaw teams and members of the LETMESAIL program, resulting in the SNAP program. SNAP was started in July 2007.
October 9, 2007
Gallery Exhibits Work of Emerging Artists, Former Professor
The Art Gallery will showcase the work of three emerging Los Angeles artists who share a common educational background: all are former students of Richard Shelton. The exhibit is scheduled Oct. 27 through Nov. 17.
Christophe Cassidy, Arnaud Damasceno and Stacie Jaye Meyer studied under Shelton, who graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute (now known as CalArts) and retired recently as a faculty member of the Otis Art Institute. Shelton's work has been exhibited widely and is included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S., including the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art.
The work to be exhibited is mostly oil- and acrylic-based paintings in a contemporary style.
“We are thrilled to welcome a well-established artist such as Richard Shelton and three emerging artists to share their work at the gallery,” said Larry Hurst, director of the COC Art Gallery.
A reception will be held 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27. COC faculty member Robert Walker will conduct a roundtable discussion with the artists at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 8 as part of the gallery’s new speaker series. The public is welcome to attend and bring lunch.
The Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
October 5, 2007
World-Famous Dance Ensemble to Conduct Master Class
Subject: A master class taught by dancers of the Spanish ensemble, “Noche Flamenca.”
Time: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007
Place: Black Box Theater, College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center
Event: Prior to performing at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., dancers of “Noche Flamenca” will keep COC students on their toes in a master class, taught in the adjacent Black Box Theater.
A master class is a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline-usually music, but also painting, drama, or any of the arts. The difference between a normal class and a master class is typically the setup. In a master class, all the students (and often spectators) watch and listen as the master instructs one student at a time.
“Noche Flamenca” was founded in Madrid in 1993 and has become one of Spain’s most successful flamenco companies.
Noche Flamenca’s vitality, energy and passion have won accolades around the world, with raves and standing ovations in Egypt, Canada, Australia, Portugal and Spain, and now they bring the power of flamenco to Santa Clarita!
Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase.
October 4, 2007
Scholarly Presentation Focuses on Environment
With a passion for environmental issues and a strong desire to change the way people go about making their daily consumer choices, two like-minded college English professors will cross the traditional boundaries of their discipline to co-present the 2007 College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation, entitled “The Environment, A Daily Decision.”
Sponsored by the College of the Canyons Foundation and the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, the presentation will take place Tuesday Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. The roughly hour-long multimedia presentation will focus on some of the environmental responsibilities of global citizenship and point out some of the environmental effects of many daily consumer choices, while also examining the consumption, disposal and recycling habits of Santa Clarita citizens, with a goal to change the way people think about those daily decisions.
Convinced that concerns about environmental protection, energy conservation and climate change brought about by global warming should no longer fall solely on the shoulders of the government officials and scientists who have for too long been burdened with the task of staving off environmental crisis, event co-presenters Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, a COC English and humanities professor and chair of the college’s Sustainable Development Committee, and Dr. Will McConnell, assistant professor of the writing program and assistant director of the writing center at Woodbury University, have worked together for more than a year to develop their presentation.
“Usually people tend to say, ‘Oh,that’s a scientist problem,’ " Cheng-Levine said, explaining the all-too-typical way of thinking the presentation is designed to change. “So we need a way to have people start to think about the fact that it’s no longer just governmental and scientific expertise that can solve these problems. Instead it should be everyone’s daily concern.”
McConnell, who is no stranger to COC students after having been a regular guest speaker in several Cheng-Levine-taught courses, is also looking forward to using the presentation to bring about a more environmentally friendly way of thinking, but also hopes to clear up the popular notion that environmental issues are just too big for individuals to tackle.
“I’ve had people actually come up to me and say things like, ‘The problem is just too big,’” McConnell said. “I think a lot of people really want to do something, but many of us are not quite sure exactly what to do. There are a lot of sources of information out there, but I think we need different conversation venues to be able to deal with the sheer volume of the issue. We really need to decide what we can do individually, but we also need a more concerted communal effort, and I think that’s what events like this give.”
And with energy conservation, recycling and sustainable development movements gaining momentum in communities across the country, and the concept of global warming now widely accepted — thanks in part to former Vice President Al Gore’s venture into documentary movie making with “An Inconvenient Truth” and the emergence of more and more environmentally consciousness advertisement campaigns — McConnell and Cheng-Levine both feel the timing of their presentation is perfect.
“When we first proposed the idea to present, these environmental issues were not as prevalent as they are today. But now everywhere you turn businesses are trying to do something good for the environment,” Cheng-Levine said. “So the approach we want to take now is a little different. We don’t have to really convince anybody that we have a problem. Now we want to make those global issues relevant to everybody’s home and everybody’s life, to the point where it just becomes part of our daily consciousness.”
As a tool to reach that result, Cheng-Levine and McConnell plan to share a number of Santa Clarita-specific consumption facts during the presentation, before taking that idea a step farther and specifically identifying some everyday consumer choices and examining their environmental costs, by looking at a typical Santa Clarita Valley child’s room.
“We’re going to take a picture of a typical kid’s room and show the audience the common everyday items — computers, electronics, video games, dolls, toys — that will show up in almost every kid’s room, and then show you not just how much it costs at retail outlets but instead emphasize the environmental cost brought about by packaging materials, shipping and fuel costs and energy use,” Cheng-Levine said. “Right now, most of us are just too overwhelmed with our daily activities to even take the time to consider these things, so why not help people think environmentally about the things we buy, the foods we eat, the things we recycle or don't recycle and the kinds of toys we should buy (for our kids) or avoid.”
In addition, the presenters plan to shock audiences by revealing some startling statistics regarding the amount of trash SCV citizens produce, by creating a hypothetical visual image of the College of the Canyons campus as a massive landfill.
According to data gathered by Cheng-Levine, Americans produce an average of 5 pounds of trash per person, per day. Using that formula, in a single year a group of 10,000 people would generate enough trash to fill an acre of space 10 feet deep. Using the roughly 150,000 Santa Clarita population mark provided in the 2000 census, it would then take less than 10 years for Santa Clarita's population to fill the 153-acre College of the Canyons Valencia campus with trash.
“And that’s something we just don't consider, so we'll be making a lot of localized connections like that for people to think about,” Cheng-Levine said.
The College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation is an annual event designed to showcase to the community the many varied interests, talents, academic scholarships and areas of research of the college’s faculty, while providing a highly informative and entertaining series of events for community members to experience and enjoy.
“We always look forward to sharing our knowledge, research and varied interests, with the community so we eagerly invite everyone to come and see some of the really talented faculty we have here at College of the Canyons,” said David Stevenson, chair of the COC Scholarly Presentation Committee. “Each year we select something that we believe will be of interest to the community, and the presentations are usually very informative, highly visual and quite entertaining.”
Traditionally attracting somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 audience members, Stevenson is expecting this year's presentation to be even more highly attended because of the topic’s wide-ranging appeal to various segments of the community.
Immediately following the presentation, the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will host a guest reception in the PAC theater lobby, where audience members will have the opportunity to meet, greet and ask questions of the presenters.
October 1, 2007
2nd Drive-Through Flu Shot Event Slated for Nov. 16
Based on the huge success of last November’s first-ever, stay-in-your-car, roll-down-your-window, roll-up-your-sleeve, get-a-flu-shot-and-drive-off event held at College of the Canyons, local authorities have announced that a similar event will be held at the college on Nov. 16. Flu shots will be administered to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The flu-shot production line will be a joint effort on the part of College of the Canyons, the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the City of Santa Clarita and the L.A. County sheriff and fire departments.
“We learned a lot from last year’s drive-through exercise,” said Donna Nuzzi, the city’s emergency services supervisor, “and we plan to improve our efficiency this year. When you are working with a number of agencies in an exercise such as this, this practice time will enhance how we all respond to a real incident.”
Flu shots are often provided to the public in anticipation of an active flu season, but the event serves a secondary purpose. This exercise will also test the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) response during a bioterrorism attack. The purpose of the CRI plan is to treat an impacted, mass population with medications within a short time period. Under the plan, the drive-through clinic is called a rapid point of dispensing, or POD. College of the Canyons is a designated POD site for the bioterrorism plan.
“The planning and implementing of the clinic fosters cooperation and communication between agencies that otherwise don’t often work together, who need to be able to coordinate their response in the event of a national emergency,” said Beverly Kemmerling, director of student health and wellness at the college.
In the event of a large outbreak of disease or a regional terrorist attack, many sites similar to this one in Santa Clarita would be needed to serve the needs of California communities.
According to public health officials, the 2006 flu clinic was one of the best in all of California. More than 120 volunteers from participating agencies helped coordinate the event. The clinic was not only a challenge for COC nursing students who helped administer the shots under the supervision of nursing instructors and county personnel, it provided valuable information about organization, traffic control and other logistics required to move a large number of people through the system in the shortest amount of time.
More than 800 community members participated and received the free shots during a three-hour period last year.