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Emergency coordination

A new center in the College of Law will serve as central command during crisis situations to assist police and fire crews.

See something, say something!

Everyone can contribute to creating a safer campus. If you see something, call campus police at 801-585-COPS (2677), or if it’s an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Students, faculty and staff can also prepare for emergency situations by having a 72-hour kit or even just 16 ounces of water and 1,200 calories with them.

“We’re committed to learning, taking actions that enhance safety and security,” President Watkins said in a message to campus this past November after the tragic loss of a U student.

And the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management Services is helping to improve campus safety efforts with a new Emergency Coordination Center, or ECC for short, located in the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

The new center serves as a central command during crisis situations, large-scale campus events and major sporting events—to monitor, coordinate campus messaging (if needed), and provide logistics, manpower and resources to police, fire and other response organizations.

“A full-time operations center like this lets us practice every day for the big crisis situations,” said Stuart Moffat, associate director of University of Utah Emergency Management. “We get a lot of training during football games and special campus events so when we have a bigger situation, it’s like muscle memory.”

The ECC was built and designed using lessons learned during past campus emergency incidents. It has everything from generator power, surveillance cameras and a dispatch center to large TV displays and space for all members of the campus’s Situational Triage Assessment Team (STAT).

STAT consists of university leaders from across campus that assist in emergency decision-making.

“It will be a great benefit to have more members of STAT physically working in the same room,” said Jeff Graviet, director for Emergency Management. “We are more efficient and effective when we can communicate quickly and have face-to-face interaction.”

The center will also be used to facilitate trainings across campus, especially for Emergency Response Coordinators, commonly called ERCs. The U’s Emergency Response Plan designates an ERC for every building on campus, and these individuals are responsible for helping those in their office during an emergency with the three protective actions that everyone on campus should know:

  • Evacuation
  • Shelter in place
  • Secure in place

“We know we can’t mitigate every hazard and risk on campus,” Graviet said. “But we’re now better equipped to respond to them.”