Lehi man to head up emergency training for Olympics



    Rick Howard of Lehi has been selected to chair a committee in charge of training Emergency Medical Services and fire personnel for the 2002 Winter Games.

    Howard helps with the University of Utah Medical Center. He was chosen because of his experience as an emergency medical technician and with nuclear, biological and chemical warfare training.

    The training committee that Howard chairs is preparing a CD-ROM with information on training material that will be disseminated to fire and ambulance workers throughout the state to help prepare them for the Games.

    Workers will also be brought from out of state agencies to help with the Games.

    Howard said he is looking at previous Olympic Games as an example of how to coordinate emergency personnel. As expected, Howard said there are many concerns that are part of the territory of a big event like the Olympics.

    Having enough emergency personnel to handle a big disaster is a concern of Howard’s. Atlanta depleted its emergency resources for the city because many workers wanted to help with the Olympics, he said.

    Howard said the different locations of the Olympic events present individual problems. The venues are being watched now because terrorists plan their attacks in advance, Howard said.

    Winter Games present some problems that summer Games do not. Warmer clothes worn in the winter may be used to conceal weapons, he said. Workers are also being taught to deal with injuries caused by cold weather, Howard said.

    “I’m sure there will be problems, but they’ll be dealt with professionally,” said John Higley, a member of the training committee.

    Due to the large amount of students in one area, there is concern that universities in the state may be potential targets for terrorist acts, Howard said.

    The Marriott Center and the football stadium are large areas of concern, Higley said. Students can do several things to prepare for an emergency. Students should be aware of their surroundings, and if they see something out of place, they should report it, he said.

    “Students don’t need to worry, but they should be prepared,” Higley said.

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