ITHACA, N.Y. — Don’t be alarmed if you see a large emergency response at Cornell University this weekend. From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, more than 100 first responders and 40 volunteers acting as victims will simulate a serious emergency at Schoellkopf Field.

While the event is going on, there will be signs to warn people and there may be some minor traffic congestion along Campus Road, according to a news release from Cornell. Parking in the area, including the Crescent, Teagle/Lynah and Biotechnology building parking lots will be closed.

The exercise will “test an array of procedures in a simulated emergency incident.” Dan Maas, emergency manager for Cornell’s Office of Emergency Management, said in a statement that first responders will be testing their ability to triage, treat and transport multiple patients from a major medical emergency.

“We conduct small exercises and drills throughout the year, but bringing all these groups together for a full-scale, real-time, multi-agency exercise is a large undertaking,” Maas said in a news release. “This offers a unique test of our response plans and procedures, our incident command structure, and interagency coordination and communications.”

Several local agencies will be involved in the exercise, including Cornell University Medical Services, Cornell Environmental Health and Safety, Cornell University Police, Bangs Ambulance, Ithaca Fire Department, and the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response.

Emergency responders occasionally practice how they would respond to large-scale events to test their response and improve response plans. In 2017, local emergency responders held a drill for a mass-casualty plane crash at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.

Featured image: File photo from plane crash drill in 2017 at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.