Emergency Response Plan
This information is provided as a general reference to the Emergency Response Plan at St. John Fisher College. A more detailed guide of operational duties is maintained by emergency director, incident coordinator, section officers, and other essential team members. These plans shall be reviewed annually.
This policy applies to all members of the College. It is intended to cover, but is not limited to, the following emergency situations:
- Environmental/natural disasters - i.e. fires, floods, chemical spills or leaks, power outages, and explosions
- Medical emergencies - i.e. serious injury or fatality, epidemic or poisoning
- Major violence - i.e. murder, suicide, kidnapping, and hostage taking
- Bomb threats
- Out-of-control behaviors - i.e. riots and demonstrations
- Other crises on or off campus
Review the Emergency Response Action Plans [pdf]
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the College:
- Prepares for and responds effectively to an emergency situation through the appropriate use of College and community resources;
- Provides a framework for enhancing the safety and security of its operations;
- Mitigates the long-term effects of an emergency on its operations and mission.
An emergency is an unplanned event or incident, which can cause death or significant injury to employees, students, visitors, or the public or that can shut down operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the College's public image.
Emergency management is the process of preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. The Emergency Response Plan is the cornerstone of this process and provides for a coordinated response and a clear line of command.
Structure and General Responsibilities
The Emergency Response Team
- The Emergency Response Team (ERT) is created under the authority of the president and is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and maintenance of the Emergency Response Plan and for the effective overall management of an emergency.
- Members of the ERT include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency Director: Vice President of Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives
- Incident Coordinator: Director of Safety and Security
- Safety Officer: Fire and Life Safety Officer
- Lab Manager - biology
- Lab Manager - chemistry
- Public Information Officer: Director of Marketing and Communications
- Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
- Operations Section: Director of Facilities Services
- Lead Electrician
- Chief Information Officer
- Planning Section: Director of Human Resources
- Assistant Dean of Students and Residential Life
- Logistics Section: Buyer/Insurance Coordinator
- Business Development Coordinator
- Finance and Administration Section: Associate Vice President of Financial Affairs
- Director of Payroll and Accounts Payable
- President of the College: Gerard Rooney
- Review and evaluate the College's Emergency Response Plan.
- Initiate and coordinate one annual emergency exercise or simulation and evaluate the response.
- Issue directives and protocols as appropriate.
- Modify the Emergency Response Plan as required.
- Submit an annual report to the Safety Committee.
- Manage emergencies as outlined in this policy and in accordance with the Emergency Response Plan.
The activation of the ERT will result in the emergency director and incident commander implementing the incident command structure as identified below. The team will establish four essential working groups: Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance and Administration as separate functions managed by individual section officers.
- The emergency director heads the ERT and is responsible for convening the team or some portion of its members.
- The incident coordinator will be responsible for the front-line management of the emergency including the development of incident objectives and managing all incident operations.
- The safety officer will develop and recommend measures to the ERT for assuring personnel health and safety and to assess and/or anticipate hazardous and unsafe situations.
Public Information Officer
- The PIO is responsible for communicating with the public, media, and/or coordinating with other agencies, as necessary, with incident-related information requirements.
- The operations section is responsible for managing tactical operations at the incident site directed toward reducing the immediate hazard, saving lives and property, establishing situation control, and restoring normal conditions. Incidents can include acts of terrorism, fires, floods, hazardous material spills, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, public health and medical emergencies, and other incidents requiring an emergency response.
- The planning officer is responsible for collecting, evaluating, and disseminating tactical information pertaining to the incident. This section maintains information and intelligence on the current and forecasted situation, and its impact on the campus population. The planning section will consist of members with student, faculty, and staff oversight. These members will collect, process and organize ongoing situation information in an effort to best secure the population that they most closely represent.
- The logistics officer secures and coordinates resources needed by the ERT, students, staff, College, and other area first responders during an incident.
Finance and Administration Officer
- When there is a specific need for financial, reimbursement and/or administrative services to support incident management activities, a finance/administration section is established. The finance officer will identify sources of available funds, monitor and track cost expenditures, and report to the emergency coordinator.
- The president will give visible presence to relay information to faculty, staff, students, and the general population. He will further inform Board of Trustees on details of the incident.
The Director's Advisory Group
- The director or designee may assemble the Director's Advisory Group to capture independent incident specific expertise and guidance. In such cases, any or all members of the ERT shall form part of the Director’s Advisory Group.
- In the event of an emergency, the emergency director shall initiate selected or College-wide response plans and any related communication plans as required.
- The ERT shall work with members of Director's Advisory Group, as the case may be, to lead the College through the emergency, determine the options available, initiate the course of action to be taken, and coordinate communication issues to the internal College community as well as to the public.
- The ERT shall be called upon as deemed necessary by the emergency director. If required, a meeting may take place in a Command Post Center, a designated location that will, to the extent possible, be equipped with the technology and information required. The location will be largely dependent on the location and nature of the emergency. Several locations have been identified as potential Command Post Centers; said areas are the K-100 conference room, Wilson Formal Lounge, or the Facilities Conference Room. If necessary, an off-campus Emergency Command Center can be established at the president's house at 4100 East Avenue. In all other cases, the emergency director shall be responsible for instituting an effective system of communication that permits the required exchange of information.
- The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center or the Cleary Family Auditorium in Kearney Hall may be used as an emergency shelter if the residence halls are uninhabitable or if others on campus require emergency shelter. An alternative location for an emergency shelter can be determined based on the size and scope of the emergency and the number of persons needing shelter.
- Where police or fire officials are involved, they have the responsibility to take jurisdiction over all activities. The incident coordinator shall manage the deployment of College resources.
- The College's director of marketing and communications shall coordinate the College Emergency Communication Plan, including relations with the media. Any required College notifications or cancellations shall be reviewed with the College's director of marketing and communications and must be approved by the emergency director.
In the event that there is advance warning of an impending emergency:
- The emergency director shall be contacted and shall initiate whatever response plan he or she deems necessary.
- Key college personnel shall be informed.
- The incident coordinator shall contact emergency response services if necessary.
- The Emergency Communication Plan shall be activated if necessary.
During the post-emergency phase, the ERT shall:
- Debrief and continue communication, as required, to the College community, the general public, and the media.
- Coordinate ongoing support activities as required.
- Consider the need for post-emergency commemorative events and implement them as required.
- Record events and prepare permanent records.
- Assess any required changes to the Emergency Response Plan.