According to Courier News, Arkansas Tech University has a new Emergency Operations Center developed under the objectives of a $500,000 Congressional Grant Award of September 2004 that was secured by Congressman John Boozman.
The state-of-the art lab is for undergraduate students, but could also serve as a central location for emergency response for many local communities. According to the report:
“The center features a mixture of tablet computers and laptops for incident response and data collection, fixed work stations for modeling and simulation software and data collection and global positioning receivers for geospatial location identification and mapping.”
The software allows simulation and mapping of chemical spills, etc, overlaid on GIS data.
According to Congressman Boozman: “This was unique. There was only one other university in the country that was actually teaching kids how to set up homeland security departmants.”
The emergency administration and management program at Arkansas Tech is apparently one of only three stand-alone undergraduate programs in the United States. (The others are at University of North Texas and Central Missouri State.) ATU claims there were 183 emergency administration and management majors during the 2004-05 school year, and the program has graduated 177 students since its inception in 1997, with 98% finding jobs in the area afterwards.