Student Success


Emergency vehicles, fake blood and controlled chaos are in store this Saturday for students from five Lethbridge College programs. It’s all part of a mock disaster that gives students a chance to put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom into practice in an exciting and intense atmosphere.

Close to 100 students from the Criminal Justice – Policing, Digital Communications and Media, Emergency Medical Technician, Health Care Aide and Nursing Education of Southwestern Alberta programs will be participating in the scenario.

“This is an incredible learning opportunity for the students,” says Barb Mantello, chair of the School of Justice Studies. “They not only get to apply what they are learning in a simulated situation, but they also see how many of our agencies are called to work cooperatively with each other when we have situations and events like the one they will be experiencing.”


The students will have no knowledge of what disaster scenario they will face, and they will have to respond to the scene in real time just as they will on the job as emergency responders, police, nurses and members of the media.

“This is the first year that we’ve expanded the scenario to include our nursing and health care aide students,” says Karla Wolsky, chair of the School of Health Sciences and Allied Health. “It’s exciting to be able to build participation across our health-related programs and increase student involvement. A simulation experience like this adds a level of realism to the students’ learning that simply can’t be accomplished within the classroom.”

Another first for this year is the use of 360-degree video technology by students in the Digital Communications and Media program. It’s brand new technology that provides a new way of storytelling – viewers are immersed in the story with the ability to direct their own experience and choose where to look. The mock disaster marks the start of incorporating 360-degree video technology into the classroom, with full implementation into the curriculum coming this fall.

“The mock disaster is the perfect platform to showcase a new era of storytelling with 360-degree video,” says Digital Communications and Media instructor Kris Hodgson. “Getting students to learn how to create 360-degree videos will be a great asset to them as they graduate from our program.”

Newsrooms across the country are taking notice, and the Digital Communications and Media program has partnered with Global Television Network and Mammoth VR for an applied research project that is studying how different demographics view and interact with 360-degree videos.

The same scenario will run from 9 to 10 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on March 25 with the bulk of the action happening at the 30th Avenue residences on the northeast side of campus. Traffic around the campus may be diverted during the mock scenarios.

This is the fifth time a mock disaster has been staged on campus. In past years, simulated emergency scenarios have included an active shooter and a fatal multi-vehicle collision.

For more information on the Criminal Justice – Policing, Digital Communications and Media, Emergency Medical Technician, Health Care Aide and Nursing Education of Southwestern Alberta programs, visit Lethbridge College’s programs page.