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Meet the team keeping you safe on campus

Emergency Preparedness Committee members are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that MSU Denver is ready for anything.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 23, 2018

Emergency station on Auraria campus.The 10-member Emergency Preparedness Committee helps Metropolitan State University of Denver provide a safe environment for all students, employees and visitors. In addition to identifying safety risks and mitigating actions, members have lots of goals for the coming year. Read on to see what is on the committee’s plate and to learn how you can play a role in campus safety.

In the event of an emergency, it’s all about how well the campus is prepared to respond. In addition to hiring a new full-time emergency-preparedness manager, the committee will hold a tabletop exercise this fall to better prepare MSU Denver leadership to make effective decisions to mitigate a campus emergency. These scenario-driven, facilitated discussions examine roles, responsibilities and capabilities should the campus experience a hazardous-material accident, civil disorder, severe weather, active shooter, transportation incident or other event.

In keeping with the preparation theme, the committee is also performing an internal Red Cross Hazard Vulnerability Assessment to identify the most significant threat facing MSU Denver and prioritize planning efforts. Members will work with an outside consultant to look at areas of concern — such as energy disruption, structure fires, light-rail or bus casualty events, disease outbreak, earthquake, severe weather and mass violence — and how each could affect Roadrunners.

Recognizing that not every emergency could affect the entire campus, committee members are also working with individual departments to prepare safety plans related to egress routes, emergency-equipment locations, shelter-in-place rooms and rally points. Currently, more than 60 percent of departments have met with committee members to develop a plan, and members hope to collaborate with all departments by Jan. 1.

Other committee goals include increasing training opportunities related to first aid, bleeding control and active-shooter response — and better involving students in emergency preparedness. Two student representatives are active members of the committee, and student-led training, an emergency-response Hot Topic discussion and a Student Emergency Response Team are on the horizon. Emergency-response information may also pop up on course syllabi alongside information for the CARE Team.

Additionally, committee members are working on concealed-carry guidance that will outline current law, appropriate use of force, what to do after the use of force, responsibilities, carrying concealed, holster options, etc. Shared-building evacuation drills, continued RAVE and emergency-notification-system testing, and the development of two MSU Denver Emergency Operations Centers in SSB 440A and ADM 435 are in progress.

Stay tuned to the Early Bird for more emergency-preparedness information and updates from the committee.

MSU Emergency Preparedness Committee members:

Mark Pokorny, Environmental and Emergency Preparedness Manager

Braelin Pantel, Associate Vice President, Student Engagement & Wellness, Dean of Students

Nick Pistentis, Director of Client Services and Interim Director of Application Services, ITS

Jennifer Bradford, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Criminal Justice and Criminology

Brian Bagwell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Human Services & Counseling

David Haden, Associate Dean, Student Engagement & Wellness

Erick Benson, Representative - Student Employment, Human Resources

Tiffany Bathrick, Senior Benefits Coordinator, Human Resources

David Andy, Student Representative

Samantha Atkins, Student Representative

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