Preparations for a Controversial Speaker and Anticipated Volatility in a College Town


Slish J, Hwang C, Holtsman L, Jones J, Stout D, Abo BN, Ryan M 20(2). 104 - 109 (Journal Article)

In summer of 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, white nationalists clashed with counterprotestors, ultimately leading to the death of three people and leaving 34 more injured. Soon after, the same group was granted permission to speak on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Despite our college town having limited resources and personnel, the comprehensive and extensive preparation preceding the event ensured a peaceful resolution for such a large and potentially volatile situation. The preparatory steps required joint efforts from local and state partners in law enforcement, emergency medical services, and emergency departments. We describe here the situation we faced, the pre-event preparations, the response in the field and in our emergency department, and the outcomes from an emergency and tactical medicine perspective. We hope our successful experience will impart knowledge for similar events.

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