High-Level Russians Visit UNH To Discuss Emergency Planning

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

March 4, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. — On the heels of President George Bush’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about renewed cooperation between Russia and the United States, a similar dialogue will be occurring between New Hampshire’s political and emergency management leaders and a delegation of high-ranking officials from Russia.

From March 5-12, 2005, a delegation of 10 civil and military leaders from Russia will participate in a democracy strengthening initiative and series of workshops throughout the state dealing with emergency planning and coordination in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. On Monday, March 7, the delegation will be at the University of New Hampshire for two presentations between 3:30-5:15 p.m. Ken Brown, the university’s hazardous materials management coordinator, will discuss UNH’s system of tracking hazardous materials and how to coordinate with emergency personnel in the event of an emergency. Tom Trout, professor of political science, will talk about the American tradition of civilian control of military.

The program is part of a joint undertaking by UNH, the N.H. National Guard, and the U.S. Department of Defense to demonstrate to leaders of countries in transition to democracy the state's unique approach of how government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector cooperate in the event of natural or manmade emergencies.

The delegation is led by Lieutenant General Vladimir Puchkov, director, and Colonel Yuri Sushkov, deputy chief, of the Department of Civil Defense Forces in the Russian Ministry of Emergencies, an agency with 250,000 employees similar to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“It is a democracy strengthening program,” said program sponsor Ted Howard, director of the Center for International Education at UNH, “and we are grateful for the leaders and organizations throughout the state who have volunteered as participants.

The delegation will attend the Dunbarton Town Meeting, discuss homeland security with N.H. Homeland Security Director Bruce Cheney, meet with Gov. John Lynch and Senate President Tom Eaton and House speaker Doug Scamman, participate in an emergency simulation at Elliot Hospital, visit the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, discuss the media’s role in emergencies, attend a Manchester Monarchs hockey game, and be hosted at a dinner by community leaders in Nashua organized by Dr. Griffin Dalianis, the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of Army.

The New Hampshire program, conducted in Russian and English, is now in its fourth year with earlier delegations from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Tajikistan, and Macedonia. A delegation from Latvia is scheduled to visit April 16-20, 2005.