Utah Tech University heightens preparedness efforts with incident command trailer

As the country is reminded of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies during National Preparedness Month this September, Utah Tech University is increasing its efforts by incorporating an Incident Command & Campus Resilience Trailer into its operations.

The trailer, procured by University Safety & Risk Management, will help the campus community mobilize for incident command, emergency management operations, police services and public health support.

“The Incident Command & Campus Resilience Trailer is an innovative platform designed for real-world use that’s easy to tow, set up, operate, clean and maintain,” Josh Thayn, Utah Tech’s chief safety officer and executive director of University Safety & Risk Management, said. “No matter what emergency or special event operations we may face, the trailer is built to be versatile and fit our needs.”

The 20-foot trailer features a generator, climate control and work stations for 5 to 8 individuals. It has Internet access, computer hookups, a printer, break station and radio chargers for communication and field operations. A roll-out canopy can increase outside staffing and built-in light supports assist with larger-scale events and night operations. As campus needs expand, growth opportunities within the trailer include phone lines, HAM radio, satellite communications, drone surveillance and intelligence TV monitoring.

A secondary use is for campus safety and health resiliency. For example, the trailer can serve as a point of distribution of life saving supplies, testing, vaccination, educational and event operations.

“Utah Tech’s trailer is interoperable and can be deployed in various types of emergencies, crisis, special events and other support services situations,” Thayn said.

In other efforts, Safety & Risk Management is replacing its outdated fleet vehicles with hybrid vehicles to cut emissions and boost fuel efficiency. Specifically, the department has acquired a Ram 1500 e-torque truck and two Toyota Rav4 hybrids with four more Rav4s to come.

“If we can be as safe, be more efficient, save money and be better sustainable stewards, it’s a win all around,” Thayn said. “We anticipate the new fleet vehicles will save thousands of dollars over their expected lifespan, while making a small but real contribution to a greener, healthier environment.”

UT’s Center for Climate Resilience and Sustainability estimates that trading in gasoline engine vehicles for hybrids will reduce gas costs by about $1,500 per year for every new hybrid vehicle, totaling close to $10,000 per year when all vehicles are replaced. Additionally, every gasoline vehicle replaced with a hybrid model will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by over 3 tons per vehicle per year adding up to a reduction of 19 tons per year when all vehicles are replaced.

Utah Tech University Safety & Risk Management is committed to empowering the entire campus community to be safety officers and risk managers. To ensure this, the department oversees proactive risk and emergency management, police protection, fire prevention, security and parking services, and health and safety by prioritizing safety as one of their highest priorities. To learn more about Utah Tech University Safety & Risk Management, visit safety.utahtech.edu.