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Voorhees University to open an emergency operations center and classroom

Denmark, S.C. – Voorhees University will open an emergency operations center (EOC) and classroom on May 15. The EOC will address campus and community emergencies and prepare students for careers in emergency management. The facility will be located in the Science, Technology, Health and Human Services building.

Voorhees will routinely use the center and classroom to teach students protocols for emergency management planning and managing emergency events. It will also serve as a command center for campus and community emergencies.

“We are pleased that the Voorhees University EOC will support the campus and community in dealing with emergencies and prepare students for careers,” said Zhabiz Golkar, associate professor of biology, and dean of the School of Science, Technology, Health and Human Services. “First responders can depend on Voorhees for support with on-scene emergencies, coordination efforts between the EOC and field operations, receiving, evaluating, analyzing all disaster information, and communicating with community stakeholders.”

The EOC will provide an assembly point for campus leaders, security, logistics, planning, and communications as a campus command center. According to Golkar, the planning and intelligence section of the center will develop and offer damage assessments for emergency events. 

“The new center will be beneficial to the university and Bamberg and Barnwell counties,” said Roger Riley, emergency management instructor and the emergency manager for Barnwell County. “Both counties use the campus for sheltering hurricane evacuees, and this is a great location to manage that process. It also will be a great opportunity for experiential learning for our students, allowing them hands-on exposure to an actual emergency operations center.”

The center has received financial support of $3,000 from faculty and the Southern Disaster Recovery Association. The university has submitted a $20,000 grant application to Duke Energy.

A high-resolution image of the new campus Emergency Operations Center/Classroom logo is available at https://voorhees.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/VU-EOC-logo.png

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at www.voorhees.edu.

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