Fire demonstrations and drug dogs are not typical things to see while walking down Centennial Mall, but Wednesday emergency responders held an emergency preparedness event.

The month of September has been declared by the Department of Homeland Security as National Emergency Preparedness Month in order to draw attention to safety in emergency situations.

"Each year we try to do something for the Purdue community that highlights safety and the importance of being prepared," said Ron Wright, director for emergency preparedness. "It's not just about preparedness, but about safety in general."

This year, Purdue featured the Tippecanoe County bomb squad and a "drunk simulator" that was provided by Subaru as well as demonstrations by the Purdue Fire Department and the Purdue Police Department's drug dogs.

Many students visited the displays and booths at the event and talked to the various emergency response personnel.

"I really enjoyed playing with the drug dog, Macho," said Sarah Mesrobian, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts. "I was surprised to learn that when he retires he will live with the owner that he works with."

The goal of this event is to inform the community of steps to take during an emergency and how to react in such situations. Whether it's learning about drug dogs or just talking to personnel, emergency responders want students to know what to do in an emergency.

"The number one thing is to be aware of your surroundings and if you see something suspicious, tell somebody," said Carol Shelby, senior director for environmental health and public safety.

"The emergency telephone system, also known as the "little blue boxes," are very useful," she said. "There are over 300 around campus that can instantly connect you to help. We want students to know that people are always reachable in an emergency. If someone needs help, they will always get it."

For more information, visit or download the Purdue iPhone app and tap the "safety" button.