WHITTIER – A car accident staged on Friday, May 13 will provide a venue for students across multiple Rio Hondo College disciplines to collaborate on emergency response techniques mirroring those of a real-life crisis.

The Collaborative Crisis Scenario will test how more than 100 students studying to be nurses, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and journalists respond to an emergency. Two sessions – at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. – will enable all students to participate.

Students from the College’s visual and performing arts departments will support the effort by performing as victims and suspects during the event, staged at the Administration of Justice Annex on campus.

“It’s an incredibly dramatic program that pushes our students to apply the academic skills they acquire in our classrooms to a real-life scenario,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said. “It’s a complex exercise with dozens of moving parts that will provide a lesson that can’t be duplicated.”

During the crisis, police officers from a local department will be on hand to arrest a performing arts student who will play a suspect behind a devastating accident. An ambulance will take victims to a “Roadrunner Hospital” emergency room on the third floor of the Rio Hondo College L tower. Journalism students will cover the event.

Just as important as the drill, students will take part in a debriefing period, analyzing their reactions, communication and delegation to discover ways to improve before they john the front lines in a real emergency.

This is the fourth year the College divisions will team up for the exercise, which has grown significantly since its first year.

“The Collaborative Crisis Scenario is a great example of how our educators connect learning in the classroom with our broader community,” Board of Trustees President Mary Ann Pacheco said. “It takes a lot of creativity to see how so many students in so many disciplines can use the same event to develop valuable hands-on skills.”