College Governance: Emergency Response Task Force Update

The Emergency Response Task Force met on December 1, 2016. The Task Force is rotating locations of meetings and including a building tour to become more familiar with the various building nuances to better prepare for emergencies. The following updates were provided during the meeting and a robust discussion on improvements and next steps took place, followed by a building 7 tour by Dean Hernandez.

Communication Go Packets: Cherie Colin reported that she is working in conjunction with the Chief of Staff at the district, the other two college PIOs and Tom Maloney, the district consultant for emergency preparedness, to develop communications “go” packets for various emergency scenarios.

Emergency Vests: Tom Maloney has provided a recommendation to the district on a rollout of emergency vest color coding for building captains and Emergency Operations Center members to wear during drills and in the event of an emergency situation. The district will prescribe what colors that will be used at all three campuses for consistency. Vice President Briones has requested that the vests be ordered in time for our February tabletop exercise.

Building Safety Teams: Tom Maloney is recommending that we adjust the district-wide terminology from Floor and/or Building Captains to Building Safety Teams, so that a more team-oriented approach is taken.

Building Captains: Tom Maloney is recommending a policy for determining how many Building Captains should be assigned based on the size of the building. Part of the recommendation includes that each division determine its needs based on their building to create a Building Safety Team so there are multiple people in the division available to support emergency response efforts. Chief of Public Safety, Jim Vangele would like to assign staff to these positions who are willing to be trained to take on the safety tasks as part of their regular duties. While faculty can assist, he would only like to recruit those who voluntarily want the assignments. John Doctor, Facilities Manager said that Facilities is prepared to assist with Building Captain duties in the evening in all campus buildings. They have established a chain of command to back up the Facilities Manager if he is not on campus. Scott Mansfield will be contacting the division deans and ask them to be intentional about who they assign to their Building Safety Team.  He will also ask the deans to assess how many team members are needed, what their resources and specific needs are. Chief Vangele is available to walk through each building with the dean(s) to assist in determining what their needs are.

Emergency Supplies: Chief Vangele reported that Skyline College will be organizing its emergency equipment and “go bags” and needs a final list of what to order. They would like these supplies to be standardized throughout the district.  The Chief and Tom Maloney will coordinate with district and report back to the committee.

Evacuation and Emergency Response: All faculty and staff should be required to participate in and follow instructions from Building Safety Teams during drills. It should be mandatory that they evacuate in all instances, including during drills, which did not happen during the last drill.

Campus Radio Training: Chief Vangele scheduled and held radio trainings before the Winter Break for interested staff and faculty.

Building 7 Tour: The Task Force toured Building 7, which houses classrooms, labs and staff offices. There are also chemicals and other hazardous materials stored in the building. Because of the multiple stairwells and exits, evacuation during the October Great California Shake-Out was complicated. Dean Hernandez pointed out that the maps near stairwells will need to be corrected and should be easier to view in an emergency as they are oriented wrong. Building 7 connects with Building 8, so coordination between the Building 7 and Building 8 Building Safety Teams should be established. A suggestion was made to standardize the evacuation route for Building 7 and create a set of instructions. Emergency egress locations need to be established for each building.

Article by Cherie Colin & Linda Bertellotti