September 16, 2010
Rollins has been recognized for its forward-thinking efforts in emergency preparedness and is one of six colleges featured in Ready to Respond: Case Studies in Campus Safety and Security. Rollins was also featured in the September/October 2010 edition of the National Fire Protection Association Journal.
Rollins has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) of operation, which is the first-ever standardized approach to emergency incident management and response. Developed by the Department of Homeland Security, released in March 2004 and used primarily by federal agencies, NIMS establishes a uniform set of processes and procedures including standardized organizational structures and operations; planning, training and exercising; equipment acquisition and certification, and much more.
Rollins is among only a small number of private colleges and universities in the nation to adopt the NIMS system of emergency incident management and has been recognized for its forward-thinking efforts in emergency preparedness by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Rollins is one of six colleges featured in Ready to Respond: Case Studies in Campus Safety and Security. The book was developed to help colleges and universities create comprehensive emergency management plans that address the four phases of emergency management: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
The case study chronicles the development of Rollins’ new and comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). In 2007, President Duncan appointed a four-person task force—Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Risk Management Maria Martinez, Director of Environmental Health & Safety Brad McKown, Director of Campus Security Ken Miller and Special Assistant to the President Steve Neilson—to study best practices in emergency preparedness and evaluate all existing College policies and procedures.
The most significant changes in Rollins’ new EOP are a stream-lined decision making process and the separation of the policy-making and operational procedures. On the operational side, Rollins has implemented the NIMS Incident Command Structure, which would be activated for all emergencies.
“This new plan allows us to make decisions in a more structured and organized manner and the new operating plan helps clarify roles and responsibilities,” said Jeff Eisenbarth, vice president and treasurer, who serves as the chief emergency officer and has the responsibility of implementing the Emergency Operations Plan.
Other changes include:
• The completion of NIMS certification training for more than 80 staff members, including the president and senior administrators, to provide the optimal professional response at every level.
• Equipping all classrooms with door hardware that enables the door to be locked from the inside.
• Assigning the responsibility for threat assessment management to a single office—the director of counseling and psychological services.
• The posting of signs in all classrooms to inform students and faculty of the steps to take in an emergency, specifically when instructed to “shelter in place.” (This will be completed this fall.)
“We certainly hope we don’t have to activate the plan, but preparedness is key,” said Eisenbarth.
Rollins was featured in the September/October 2010 edition of the National Fire Protection Association Journal. Check it out at www.nfpa.org/publicJournalDetail.asp?categoryID=&itemID=48411&src=NFPAJournal&cookie_test=1.