ENMU earns state emergency certification

cplank@pntonline.com

Eastern New Mexico University is the first university in the state to earn a National Incident Management System compliance certification.

It means the university is prepared to handle a variety of emergencies, according to ENMU President Steven Gamble, who confirmed the award Tuesday.

“We will be better prepared to handle things that are out of the ordinary,” Gamble said.

University staff and administration spent five months training either with online courses or in a classroom setting. Training started a year ago for some staff.

Training was conducted by Attlia Herelendy, director of ENMU’s Emergency Medical Services Management Program, and Ron Breland, vice president of Southwest Homeland Solutions, Inc., a Rio Rancho training and exercise company.

“We teach and try to get people into compliance and help them to get into a better position to deal with situations and be federally compliant,” Breland said.

Last semester ENMU held several exercises, including having an actor portray a gunman last spring. More exercises are being planned in the future.

“Portales is one of the safest places a person can live, but it is not immune to something happening,” Gamble said.