Emergency Management expert shares valuable experience with students

Associate Prof. Wang Fei’s “Emergency drill design and practice” course was recently selected as an innovative case of online teaching by Tsinghua University and has attracted media attention for its course design. 

On April 28th, the course invited Director and Party Secretary of the Foshan Emergency Management Bureau Wei Yu to share his practical experience on emergency management. Wei shared how emergency command can coordinate operations of multiple departments and technologies in times of crises, as well as Foshan's rich experience in emergency drill and practice.


Associate Prof. Wang Fei


Wei Yu, Director and Party Secretary of the Foshan Emergency Management Bureau, sharing his practical experience

Wei used the example of the Gaoming forest fire in December 2019 which involved 58 teams and more than 12,000 people. He shared specific actions that the Bureau took to deploy equipment and personnel, how the emergency management system was used, as well as lessons learned from the event.

 "It was the largest fire in Foshan in the past 20 years," Wei said. "It took five days and five nights to put out the fire, and every step of the work was a dynamic test of our emergency management abilities.” He described it as a collaborative effort which eventually resulted in zero casualties.


Site of the "Emergency drill practice and design” course

Students participated actively in the discussion session, asking questions related to drill simulations, operations and others. In terms of coordinating emergency operations, Wei pointed out that a previous project in smart city development opened up data across Foshan departments, achieving data integration and provided a scientific basis for emergency decision-making. He also highlighted qualities of effective incident commanders in order to achieve coordination across departments.

Students found the experience very meaningful, and enjoyed the opportunity to converse with the Director of the Foshan Emergency Management Bureau.


Associate Prof. Wang Fei interviewed by media

Since April, Prof. Wang has been teaching from the Foshan Emergency Command Center, where he makes use of the Center’s emergency drill model and its supporting facilities to provide an immersive learning experience for graduate students of safety engineering. 

Innovative online courses have attracted media attention from outlets such as People's Daily, Nanfang Daily, Tencent, and NetEase. In an interview, Prof. Wang said that drills reflect the modernization of emergency management capabilities, and his course is designed to inspect new emergency management mechanisms through simulation drills. Expert sharing sessions are arranged to bring practical insight to students who may enter the field of emergency management.

In future sessions, functions of command and dispatch, fusion communication, and decision support systems of the Foshan Center will be used to immerse students in a realistic environment. The team has also prepared other scenarios such as leakage of hazardous chemicals and typhoon disasters so that students can master aspects of planning, design and implementation of emergency drills.



Photos by Huang Yanjun

Edited by Karen Lee