PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emergency and disaster preparedness for utility companies – critical to keeping whole communities and their infrastructure safe – just received a boost.
A new training center to support incident management for the utility industry was announced today at the Western Energy Institute (WEI) Spring Operations Conference in Las Vegas.
WEI and Concordia University-Portland, in collaboration with Portland General Electric (PGE) and Organizational Quality Associates (OQA), announced a new partnership to create the nation’s first center designed to provide emergency management training and educational services specifically for utilities.
The new Incident Management for Utilities National Training Center is located at Concordia University’s Columbia River Campus, along with Concordia’s Center for Homeland Security Studies and Homeland Security Simulation Center.
The effort will strengthen the industry’s sharing of instructional resources, best practices and mutual assistance. Concordia's simulation lab will offer new training capabilities for utilities in Incident Management and Emergency Response practices. WEI is instrumental in supporting its members in this collaborative approach. OQA provides expert instructional services and FEMA-approved certification in multiple industries. PGE has provided conceptual and subject matter expertise.
“We are excited to meet the utility industry’s need for high-quality, sector-specific, incident command and emergency management training,” said Chuck Meyer, president, Western Energy Institute (WEI).
“Critical infrastructure systems can’t suspend operations for training purposes, so they come to Concordia-Portland,” said Jason Nairn, director of Concordia’s Homeland Security Simulation Center. “By simulating disasters in the virtual world, we offer students the opportunity to learn in a safe-fail environment without disrupting business.”
“Emergency preparedness is a critical part of our community’s safety,” said Larry Bekkedahl, PGE’s vice president of transmission and distribution. “This new training center will be a great resource for the industry to help us all be better prepared to respond in an emergency.”