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Global Crisis Simulation gets real

ORU hosted its annual Global Crisis Simulation on Saturday. Students from ORU, the University of Tulsa, Northeastern State University and various high schools participated in the event.

The scenario was a chemical attack on a leadership summit for globally recognized heads of state including the Queen of England, who was medically evacuated in a helicopter following the attack. Students then encountered cyberattacks, war declarations and economic collapses while practicing real-world strategies for handling an emergency.

Professionally trained medical evacuation personnel were brought in for the simulation. Photo by Wyatt Bullard.
Professionally trained medical evacuation personnel were brought in by helicopter to assist in the simulation. Photo by Wyatt Bullard.

“This year’s Global Crisis Simulation was the best one yet,” said Cainan Balagia, who acted as the lead organizer for team United States. “We were given a taste of what international diplomacy looks like in the modern age. The incorporation of engaging videos and the collaboration of multiple departments made the event seem more realistic than ever.”

A fog machine disguised as the chemical bomb released hazy yellow smoke into the air, setting the day’s procedures into action.

Nursing students practiced triage, checked vital signs and prepared a patient for medical evacuation via helicopter with volunteers covered in fake blood and stage makeup resembling wounds. Campus security assisted in crowd control and directing emergency responders, local firemen led students through a tent and performed chemical exposure protocol.

The scenario suggested the disaster was an act of terror, causing students from the history, humanities and

A nurse assesses the wounds of a victim in the Global Crisis Simulation. Photo by Wyatt Bullard.
A nurse assesses the wounds of a victim in the Global Crisis Simulation. Photo by Wyatt Bullard.

government department to leave the “leadership summit” in the chapel and spring into action. They were assigned positions with one of the countries involved, ranging from press secretary, to secretary of state or president in the sixth floor conference rooms. Some teams worked to resolve cyberattacks, while all practiced proper international relations according to their assigned country. Many crises unfolded throughout the seven-hour event, well after the initial medical emergency procedure practice began.

Journalism students covered the entire scenario, where 30 minutes of real time equated to a full day, on Twitter feeds representing globally recognized media outlets such as the BBC or Associated Press. They interviewed press representatives and heads of state, wrote recap articles describing the unfolding process of these intricately-planned situations and presented all information according to the styles of their assigned media outlet.

“Throughout GCS I realized the importance of working together with other nations, despite diplomatic differences, in order to achieve a common goal,” said Shawn Madison, who served as United States president throughout the simulation. “I had to remain in character of the current international policies of the present administration, whether I personally agreed or disagreed. If acting was a career path of mine, I definitely learned some tips from GCS.”

Balagia and Madison received ‘Outstanding Strategy’ awards along with the rest of their team; other awards presented included ‘Best Journalist,’ ‘Best Diplomat’ and ‘Outstanding Country.’

Students involved had an opportunity to gain experience in handling emergency situations in whatever capacity their future careers may require.

Story by Rachel Frazer, Photos by Wyatt Bullard

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