SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Campus focuses on preparedness

April 3, 2008 -- SF State will continue its disaster education and preparedness efforts during Emergency Preparedness Week, April 7-11. The exercises and events will help students, faculty and staff prepare for a variety of emergency situations.

The University has made a concerted effort to improve emergency planning and organization by developing an online clearinghouse of campus emergency information, and hiring a campus-wide emergency preparedness coordinator. In the fall, SF State's Office of Emergency Preparedness will begin offering emergency preparedness training on campus where faculty and staff can become certified in CPR and First Aid and learn other emergency skills.

Photo of Emergency Preparedness Supplies.

The University is also in the process of testing its ConnectEd system, a mass notification system which sends messages via e-mail, phone and text message to students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency. "We take emergency preparedness very seriously," said Gayle Orr-Smith, SF State emergency preparedness coordinator, "and we've been a very proactive University."

During Emergency Preparedness Week, attendees can learn about earthquake preparedness and how to earthquake-proof a home or office. Those who have never experienced an earthquake will have the opportunity April 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when "The Big Shaker" will be on campus in the Centennial walkway near the Student Services Building. The 24-foot-long trailer simulates earthquakes of varying intensity using a hydraulic system. The U.S. Geological Survey will also provide maps that project Bay Area earthquake impact by neighborhood. University Police will also provide information for preparing earthquake survival kits. Other events include:

  • "Shots Fired," a video will be shown in the carpeted area of the Cesar Chavez Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Irwin Memorial Blood Centers will conduct a blood drive Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Centennial walkway.
  • The University Police Department mobile command van will also be on site to demonstrate sobriety testing and distribute emergency preparedness backpacks.

Campus leaders will also be recruiting for the campus Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which will begin in the fall. CERT Club members will be trained in light search and rescue techniques, first aid and basic triage techniques. The University will also offer CPR certification classes. SF State is an authorized provider of American Red Cross training.

During Emergency Preparedness Week, the University will conduct training sessions about what to do in an active shooter situation. The training, developed by University Police and the Office of Emergency Preparedness takes lessons learned from previous active shooter incidents and provides tips about actions to take if a similar situation occurs on campus. "Is there a way to survive an incident like that? Absolutely," Orr-Smith said. "Chief Kirk Gaston and Capt. Anthony Duenas researched and studied police after-action reports, and together we developed strategies that students, faculty and staff can employ to survive this kind of incident. The ‘Shots Fired’ video that we use in our training, helps to illustrate these survival techniques.” The Active Shooter Training and “Shots Fired” video will be available online in the coming weeks.

For more information about Emergency Preparedness Week and emergency preparation on campus, visit the SF State Police Department web site.

-- Michael Bruntz


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