The KSU Department of Strategic Security and Safety are making efforts to raise campus community preparedness and awareness for emergency situations and disasters.
In a session held this last Thursday at the KSU Center, a room full of faculty and students were educated on how to respond quickly and correctly when faced with an emergency or disaster. The training pointed out ways to raise awareness of everyday things such as exit signs, objects to hide behind and places to avoid.
This department has made it possible to have communication between all KSU support departments that are responsible for the safety and security of the campus community.
According to the SSS department website, “KSU is moving towards an exceedingly robust system of preparedness, emergency alert and notification utilizing a layered approach, to ensure all customers are prepared and can respond to any emergency or disaster.”
Amy Phillips, Manager of Human Resource Services, believes the session was very insightful.
“I definitely had not thought about just looking for the exits in any particular situation,” Phillips said. “I certainly feel more prepared now than I did going into it.”
Robert Lang, Assistant Vice President of Strategic Security and Safety, thinks KSU is well on its way to fulfilling this preparedness.
“We’re pretty close to having achieved that,” Lang said. “We’ve taken a very proactive approach. We’ve put sirens in, and we only set them off for three things: tornadoes, hazardous material spills, and the third one is the active shooter.”
Lang’s department is also in charge of the KSU alert messages that faculty, staff and students receive in the wake of an emergency.
“You get your messages, and you get a lot,” Lang said. “Students will get a text message, a voicemail and an email. The idea behind these messages is to tell you what’s happening.”
The SSS department has created several security and emergency management initiatives. At the frontline of this initiative is the Crisis Coordinator Certification Program.
This program contains over 200 volunteers, each of which are trained in First Aid, Emergency Response, Security Awareness, Crisis Mitigation, CPR and AED. When faced with disaster, a Crisis Coordinator acts as an immediate responder while awaiting the arrival of trained first responders.
Deanna Hendrickson, Grants Manager Office of Research, a trained Crisis Coordinator, thinks the program is an important responsive tool.
It raises the level of awareness, being able to pinpoint things that you normally wouldn’t look for,” Hendrickson said. “I feel a responsibility to use the training I’ve been able to be provided to protect others and be able to help.”
The SSS department conducts Active Shooter Training Sessions that are open to all faculty, staff, and students. The intent of these sessions is to educate the campus community on how to correctly respond when faced with an emergency situation involving an active shooter.
The SSS department will be holding another training session Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 12:30 p.m. in the Prillaman Building, room 1000. Seating is for the capacity of the room, and the session is open for all KSU faculty, staff, and students.