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Emergency Response Plan

Mission Statement

It is the mission of this plan to maintain and enhance safety at Illinois Valley Community College through a dynamic, multifaceted community partnership promoting cooperation and communication in all phases of the prevention, management and resolution of any incidents.

 

Purpose

Illinois Valley Community College, in cooperation with the Oglesby Police and Fire Departments and the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department, developed this guide to proactively address safety and security issues that may impact our campus.

The purpose of this plan is to present different strategies to maximize the safety of all members of the college community.  In order for any set of policies to work, they must be established and implemented with the participation and support of the Board of Trustees, the President, administrators, faculty, staff and students.  Without such shared responsibility, the chance of such policies being successfully implemented and accepted is significantly diminished.

Everyone working to prevent or respond to a college crisis should be aware that no strategies in this or any other publication provide any guarantees against violence.  College staff responses are provided as examples of common practices and may vary depending on unusual circumstances, or the training, knowledge and experience of the responding personnel. 

 

Plan Maintenance

Training on the content and use of this plan should be provided initially and supplemented with follow-up training regularly.  This plan should be updated as needed in order to reflect changes in personnel and contact information as well as innovations in response.  Copies of this plan should be maintained at these strategic locations:  President’s Office, Campus Security, Community Relations Office, the Business Office, the Oglesby Police and Fire Departments, the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department, as well as posted on the school’s database.

 

General Areas of Responsibility

Depending on the nature of the emergency, IVCC Campus Security, administrators, Director of Facilities, IVCC First Responders, Oglesby police and fire departments, LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department and/or the Hazardous Materials coordinator may be involved in a situation.  College personnel will work closely with responding agencies, assisting to the degree they are trained and it is safe to do so.  In any crisis, it is important to remember that once the police department and/or fire department arrives on the scene the facility will be under their jurisdiction.

Administrators

Responsible for personal safety.  Assist in any situation requiring evacuation of buildings.  Inform Campus Security of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.  Follow directions of trained, responding personnel.

Faculty

Responsible for personal safety.  Assist in any situation requiring evacuation of buildings. Inform Campus Security of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.  Follow directions from responding, trained personnel.

Support Staff

Responsible for personal safety. Assist in any situation requiring evacuation of buildings.  Inform Campus Security of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.  Follow directions from trained, responding personnel.

Facilities (Physical Plant) Staff

Responsible for personal safety.  Assist in any situation requiring evacuation of buildings.  May be called upon to maintain an outer perimeter, controlling access to some areas.  May be requested to manipulate power, water flow, alarms, elevators, etc. Inform Campus Security of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.  Follow directions from trained, responding personnel.

Safety Services

Responsible for personal safety.  Report any relevant observations.  May be requested to provide or utilize college trucks or equipment.  Inform police and fire departments of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.

First Responders

Responsible for personal safety.  May be called to provide immediate medical attention to injured persons or to assist responding medical personnel.  Will have primary responsibility for medical situations.  Inform Campus Security and ambulance personnel of any information deemed useful based on specialized knowledge.  Follow directions of trained, responding personnel.

Community Relations

Responsible for personal safety.  Manage release of all information coordinating with Campus Security and police departments and President’s office during the incident.

 

Crisis Management

The term “crisis” can be applied to any one of a number of situations that may occur at the college or in some way affect the institution.  A crisis could consist of major catastrophes such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, bomb threats, outbreaks of violence, or any number of other types of emergency situations.

Sometimes a crisis can develop out of nowhere.  It may take the form of public attacks on the college or its administration, student or faculty protests, accusations of ecological mismanagement or student cheating.  In many of the previously mentioned instances, a crisis may be unavoidable. 

If not handled properly, it could permanently damage the sharing of correct, accurate and timely information with the media by the Community Relations Office.  When accurate information is dispersed quickly, rumors are stopped, nerves are calmed and a continuous flow of information indicates that people are working on the problem.  To that end, the responsibility of keeping the media informed in a crisis situation is delegated to the Director of Community Relations at the following phone:

Director of Community Relations:       (815) 224-0466 or 224-0465

By centralizing the release of all crisis-related information in the Community Relations Office, common pitfalls are avoided with the following results:

  • Information shared is consistent.
  • Seasoned professionals know what the media is entitled to, compared to what they want.
  • The college avoids embarrassment.
  • Established sources are utilized.

The college president may designate a spokesperson to respond to the media.  That person should consider the following guidelines before responding:

What happened?  Do not give detailed descriptions.  Describe the situation with a broad overview.

Who was involved?  Remember, if there are casualties, the media is NOT to receive this information unless it is released from the designated media contact person.  Never place blame.

When?  Simply pinpoint the time.

What caused it?  Never speculate.  Respond that the cause is not known but is being investigated.

How much damage?  Do not speculate.  Explain that it is impossible to determine so soon.  Do not get drawn into speculative “what if” questions.

 

Major Catastrophe

General Guidelines

No plan can anticipate every event, and circumstances will dictate appropriate responses to unknown events, however, certain behaviors will be beneficial in most situations.

  • Dial 911.  The 911 dispatcher will call Safety Service.  In medical emergencies, Campus Security will page the First Responders.
  • Render aid to anyone injured within the limits of your abilities.
  • Assist responding agencies by sharing your knowledge of events and following their directions for your safety.

Remember communication.  Campus Security is the center for coordinating information and services if any type of emergency response is required.  This includes contacts with First Responders, the President’s Office, the Community Relations Office, local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, fire and medical services, and emergency management agencies.

Police Response

  • Secure scene and assess the situation.
  • Provide first aid as needed.
  • Establish a command center.
  • Request outside assistance as needed.
  • Arrange for staging areas.
  • Maintain a presence.
  • Arrange for post-incident counseling.
  • Evaluate response.

Fire Department Response

  • Respond to scene and assess the situation.
  • Provide medical aid to the injured.
  • Perform fire suppression, if needed.

 

Weather Watches/Warnings

Among the more common forms of severe weather in our area are thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and snowstorms.  The safest place to be during thunderstorms and tornadoes is inside a secure structure since most damage occurs as a result of broken glass and flying debris.  All classrooms and offices at the college have tornado signs posted advising of safe places to seek shelter during a severe thunderstorm or tornado.  Signs will be posted at the colleges warning of a severe weather/tornado watch.  A weather alert will be sounded tornado warning.

Weather Watch:           Conditions are right for severe weather.  Be prepared to go to the nearest designated shelter area.

Weather Warning:       A tornado has been sighted.  Proceed immediately to the nearest designated shelter area.

College Staff Response

  • Collect personal belongings and proceed calmly to the nearest designated shelter area immediately.   Do not use the elevators.  A designated shelter map should be posted in each room.  Designated shelter locations are as follows:
  • Main Campus:  lower level tunnels in Buildings A, B, C, D, and E.
  • Gym:  lower level. 
  • East Campus:  hallways near Auto 125 and Ag 107, restrooms near the Day Care Center, and Building H.
  • Offer assistance to anyone in need of help.
  • Remain in designated shelter location until the “all clear” is sounded.
  • If there is significant damage to any or all of the structures at IVCC which affect utilities such as gas and electricity, it may be necessary to evacuate the buildings. In the event of evacuation, proceed to the following designated areas:
  • Main Campus and Gym:  move immediately to the softball diamond east of the Cultural Center.
  • East Campus:  move immediately to the parking lot directly south of Building 6.
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with appropriate administration.

Police Response

  • Initiate department severe weather warning plan.
  • Provide aid to any injured.
  • Determine the need for additional emergency services.
  • Secure college property.
  • Contact Campus Security who will in turn contact the Physical Plant to coordinate utility shut-offs or other needs.
  • When safe, the “all clear” will be sounded by the automated warning system.

 

Fire Department Response

  • Coordinate with Oglesby Police Department for care and transportation of the injured.
  • Verify utility shutoff, if necessary.
  • Conduct search and rescue/fire suppression, as needed.
  • Assess damage and structural integrity of buildings.

 

 

Fire

Fires are often more dangerous than they appear.  Panic greatly complicates evacuation.  Never assume a fire has a single source or is minor.  Washrooms, cafeterias, laboratories, shops and storage rooms are common areas for fires.  All faculty/staff should familiarize themselves with the locations and operations of fire extinguishers, fire pull box stations and emergency telephones.  Fire pull boxes are located at all EXITS and can be pulled on the way out of the area.

College Staff Response

  • Dial 911 and report “FIRE.”  Give address – Illinois Valley Community College. Describe and give location of fire. Give your name, extension and location.  The 911 dispatcher will call Campus Security.  In medical emergencies, Campus Security will page the First Responders.
  • An EVACUATION ALERT will be announced.  Follow evacuation procedures calmly.  Evacuation routes should be posted in all classrooms, offices, etc.  Familiarize yourself with them.  Determine in advance the nearest exit and route to follow in the event of an emergency.  Establish an alternate route to be used in case your first route is blocked or unsafe to use.  Offer assistance to anyone in need of help. Take personal belongings with you. Do not run, push or crowd.  Do not use elevators. Do not enter the courtyard. Once outside, proceed to the following designated areas:
  • Main Campus and Gym:  move immediately to the softball diamond east of the Cultural Center.
  • East Campus: move immediately to the parking lot directly south of Building 6.
  • Do not return to your area/classroom until instructed.
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with appropriate administration.

 

Police Response

  • Notify Oglesby Fire Department immediately.
  • Attempt to assess nature and extent of fire in conjunction with IVCC Campus Security and Director of Facilities.
  • Evaluate need for additional resources.
  • Establish traffic and crowd control.
  • Coordinate with fire department personnel for “origin and cause” investigation.
  • Alert Community Relations regarding situation.
  • Issue “all clear” when situation dictates.

Fire Department Response

  • Coordinate with Oglesby police personnel.
  • Assess nature and extent of fire.
  • Provide emergency medical services and coordinate transportation of all injured to the hospital.
  • Perform fire suppression.
  • Advise IVCC Campus Security and Director of Facilities when buildings can be reoccupied.
  • Conduct “origin and cause” investigation with police personnel and/or designated college personnel.

 

Biological Agent Threats

If a suspicious package or envelope is received, do not shake or empty it.  If the substance is lying out in the open, cover it with anything such as clothing, paper, a trashcan, etc.  Leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.  Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any substance to your face or other parts of your body.

College Staff Response

  • Dial 911 and report incident.  Give address – Illinois Valley Community College. Describe and give location of threat. Give your name, extension and location.  If possible, stay on the line until instructed to disconnect by the operator.  The 911 dispatcher will call Campus Security.  In medical emergencies, Campus Security will page the First Responders.
  • Remove heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place these items in a plastic bag or some other container that can be sealed. 
  • Shower with soap and water as soon as possible.  Do not use bleach or other disinfectant on your skin.    
  • Make a list of all the people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the suspect material, and isolate them.  List and quarantine all areas that have been contaminated.
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with appropriate administration.

Police/Fire Department Response

  • Close off and secure area to prevent further contamination.
  • Assist with any medical emergencies.
  • Contact Oglesby Fire Department for a Hazmat Emergency Response.
  • Have fans and/or air handling system turned off in the affected area.
  • Contact other emergency response units as necessary.
  • Contact the FBI.
  • Follow-up investigation begins.
  • Take appropriate enforcement action.
  • Consult with the College’s Community Relations Office and evaluate responses.

 

Hazardous Materials

Pre-planning is essential to handling chemical, biohazard and hazardous material spills.  Employees must (1) review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) prior to utilization of hazardous material and (2) acquire sufficient quantities of appropriate safety equipment such as goggles, respirators, chemical absorbent spill pillows, fire extinguishers, etc., in a readily available location(s).  Goggles, a respirator, and chemically absorbent spill pillows are located to the left of the checkout desk in the physical sciences lab supply room, Room E104.  Goggles and a respirator are also located in the office, Room E106.

It is important to know what substances are located in your area and the hazards each substance poses.  MSDS sheets are located in each chemical storage facility and in the office of the Chemical Hygiene Officer, Room E106.

 

College Staff Response

  • Report all spills or possible contamination to Campus Security, Ext. 314, or 739-1290.  Campus Security will notify the Chemical Hygiene Officer, Ext. 309, and the Physical Plant in order to stop air distribution to the affected area. 
  • Hazardous equipment or processes should be shut down prior to evacuation unless doing so possesses a greater hazard. 
  • Close doors, seal off area and evacuate, if necessary.  Advise others not to enter a hazardous area until clean up has been completed.
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with the Chemical Hygiene Officer, the Division Chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Physical Plant personnel, and a member of the community Hazardous Response Team.

 

Police Response

  • Collect information regarding incident.
  • Review Material Safety Data Sheet.
  • Respond to the scene forming a perimeter at a safe distance.
  • Notify Hazardous Materials Coordinator.
  • Notify Oglesby Fire Department, if needed.
  • Notify Facilities to turn off ventilation fans to the area.

Fire Department Response

 

  • Respond to the scene.
  • Assist any injured.
  • Initiate appropriate containment measures.
  • Initiate appropriate cleanup measures.

 

Bomb Threats and Bomb Emergencies

A bomb threat exists when a suspected bomb or explosive device has been reported but not located.

A bomb emergency exists if a bomb or suspected device has been located or an explosion has occurred 

Historically, most bomb threats are false, but if you should receive one, carefully note exactly what the caller says.  Based on the information you are able to obtain, a decision to evacuate may be made.

Most bomb threats are made by phone and tend to be very brief.  The message is stated in a few words and then the caller hangs up.  Pay attention to the voice of the caller: male or female? Calm or excited? Angry or sincere?  Listen closely to the background sounds.  Every effort should be made to obtain detailed information such as:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • What kind of bomb is it?  What does the bomb look like?
  • Where is the bomb located?
  • Why did you place it or who placed it and why?

College Staff Response

  • Cease all radio transmissions and cell telephone usage.
  • Dial 911 and report “BOMB THREAT.”   Give address — Illinois Valley Community College.  Describe bomb threat call. Give your name, extension and location.  If possible, stay on the line until instructed to disconnect by the operator.  The 911 dispatcher will call Campus Security.
  • An EVACUATION ALERT will be announced.  Follow evacuation procedures calmly.  Evacuation routes should be posted in all classrooms, offices, etc.  Familiarize yourself with them.  Determine in advance the nearest exit and route to follow in the event of an emergency.  Establish an alternate route to be used in case your first route is blocked or unsafe to use.  Offer assistance to anyone in need of help. Take personal belongings with you.  Do not use elevators and do not enter the courtyard. Once outside, proceed to the following designated areas:
  • Main Campus and Gym:  move immediately to the softball diamond east of the Cultural Center.
  • East Campus: move immediately to the parking lot directly south of Building 6
  • Do not return to your area/classroom until instructed.
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with appropriate administration.

Police Response

  • Assess and evaluate threat level to determine appropriate response.
  • Do not use radios in the suspected area.
  • Respond to area and begin visual inspection.
  • Upon discovery of any suspicious item or device, retreat from area and notify supervisor.
  • Supervisor will assess situation and advise of evacuation if needed.
  • The Oglesby Police Department will notify other law enforcement agencies, if necessary.
  • Request to turn off gas and fuel lines if it is safe to do so.
  • Establish perimeter: For a briefcase size device, 150 feet minimum in a building, 1,850 feet is recommended.
  • Debrief after incident conclusion.

Fire Department Response

  • Coordinate with Oglesby police personnel.
  • Provide fire and ambulance services, as needed.
  • Perform fire suppression, if needed.

 

Workplace Violence

Weapon on Campus

If a weapon is brought to campus, there is a range of possibilities of where and what the weapon might be, as well as motivation and intended plan of action.  An assessment of each situation will determine the response. 

Without placing themselves at risk, on-scene personnel should attempt to determine:

  • Has the subject been seen with the weapon or is the subject actively displaying or using the weapon?
  • Is the subject aware the weapon has been observed?
  • Is the weapon identifiable?  How many weapons are observed?
  • Has the subject harmed others or just made threats?
  • Is the subject stationary or mobile?  If mobile, what direction of travel?

Shooting

If confronted by an offender:

  • Focus on reducing tensions.  Stay calm and rational.
  • Be aware of non-verbal signals you send, e.g., body position, eye contact, etc.
  • Do not rush the offender.
  • Focus on the offender, not the weapon.

Hostage Crisis

It is possible that students, faculty, staff, and visitors could be in close proximity to, or drawn into a hostage crisis.  The ability to act appropriately will be of extreme importance to the safety of all.

Your actions during a crisis will enhance your chances of survival. 

  • Stay calm and obey terrorist(s) orders. Do not become confrontational or antagonistic.  Do not debate, argue or discuss political issues with terrorist(s) or other hostage(s).  Avoid whispering or raising your voice. 
  • Keep movements to a minimum and in view.  Try to locate everyone as far away from windows, doors, and the terrorist(s) as possible.
  • Answer all questions unless your answer may pose a threat to the terrorist’s ideology.
  • Inform the terrorist(s) of any medical conditions or special disabilities of hostages.

Do not discuss possible actions to be taken by police or other agencies.

 

IN THE CASE OF ONE OF THE OCCURRENCES, instructions will be received either by telephone or verbally from responding staff.  Directions for evacuation may be given along with safe routes.  Once the decision to evacuate is made, it is mandatory.

Campus Security and Facilities will be notified of the situation and may be asked to assist.  This assistance could be in the form of shutting down elevators and/or power, or it could consist of aiding in the evacuation.  First Responders will be notified so they can prepare to render any necessary first aid once the scene is secured.

The Oglesby Police Department will notify administrators as soon as possible so they can use their influence to assure proper adherence to safety procedures, as directed.

College Staff Response

  • Dial 911.  Give address — Illinois Valley Community College.  Give your name, extension and location, the last known location for the intruder, and any descriptive information available.  If possible, stay on the line until instructed to disconnect by the operator. The 911 dispatcher will call Campus Security.  In medical emergencies, Campus Security will page the First Responders.
  • All doors should be locked.  Students and staff should remain out of sight and stay low to the ground. The lights should be turned off, blinds drawn and everyone should stay quiet until further instructions are given by authorized personnel. Cell phone usage should be minimized.
  • In case the order is given to evacuate, follow evacuation procedures calmly. 
  • After the incident, Campus Security will complete an Incident Response Form and will critique the incident with appropriate administration.

Police Response

  • Oglesby Police officers respond to area and determine level of threat.
  • Officers establish perimeter and control access until sufficient level of deployment to proceed arrives.
  • Determine if evacuation is appropriate; if so, conduct evacuation.
  • Appropriate enforcement action is taken.
  • Medical aid is rendered, as needed.
  • Follow-up investigations begin.
  • Assess need for post-incident counseling.
  • Reports provided to IVCC Campus Security, Administration and Community Relations.