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Social Work Adds Fun to Emergency Prep

Social Work Adds Fun to Emergency Prep
The School of Social Work was praised for its creativity while playing The Go Game on campus.

Emergency preparedness was the theme of an annual retreat held on March 18 by staff members from the USC School of Social Work.

Instead of having a day full of speakers highlighting what to do in case of an emergency, some 60 staffers participated in a scavenger-hunt type game in which players raced across campus completing missions, taking photos and making videos.

Many of the missions forced participants to think about what to do – or not to do – when an emergency strikes.

The game was designed by The Go Game, a company that helps organizations succeed through innovative team-building exercises. The company customizes each game to fit the needs of its clients.

“In creating the game, we integrated information from the emergency preparedness curriculum into our offbeat missions and wound up with an experience that energized the participants without trivializing the lessons,” said game master Greg Snyder.

Steve Goldfarb, the USC fire safety and emergency planning specialist, was not surprised by the School of Social Work’s creativity during the event. He said of all the schools on campus, this one is leading the way in terms of prepping its faculty and staff for an emergency.

Goldfarb and David Carlisle of the USC Department of Public Safety were a part of the retreat’s morning agenda, which included a viewing of a training video about workplace violence and a panel discussion featuring the two safety officials; John Gaspari, executive director of USC’s Center for Work and Family Life; and Carmen Frierson, associate dean of administration for the School of Social Work and a member of the retreat’s planning committee.

Following the “Shots Fired” video, Carlisle stressed the importance of always being prepared. Whether it is a fire, earthquake or a shooter in the building, people need to have a plan of action.

Although fairly uncommon, workplace violence and school shootings can happen, said Carlisle, who noted the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. There are usually clues that a co-worker or peer may be a possible threat, Carlisle added.

“We all have a responsibility,” he said.

Weeks prior to the retreat, School of Social Work staff members received tips via e-mail about where to find emergency supplies, what to do, how to act and who to call if a situation occurs. Throughout the day of the retreat, staffers participated in raffle drawings and were given rewards if they could answer questions developed from the tips.

Social Work Adds Fun to Emergency Prep

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