For Minnesota School of Business, keeping students and staff safe on campus is a top priority, which is why we continually evaluate procedures for emergency situations.
Ryan Samuelson, our criminal justice program chair, and Jessica Ackerman, our safety coordinator, recently attended the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Association‘s (MEMA) Business Emergency and Risk Management (BERM) conference that was held at Hennepin Technical College.
The event was held to prepare small businesses in the event of a disaster. While Minnesota School of Business has an emergency plan in place, this was an opportunity to take a look at some of the current procedures and determine any adjustments to be made.
Samuelson and Ackerman took what they learned to inform the City of Blaine Emergency Management team at the recent meeting held on campus. Ackerman hosted the team and took away five key points to consider in creating an effective campus safety plan:
- In the U.S., there is one first responder (paramedic, firefighter, police officer) for about every 151 people. Consequentially, the Emergency Management Team is reconsidering Blaine campus’ severe weather safe assembly location and employee and student count protocols. The importance of having a safe assembly location for the campus is paramount, and the more regimented and accurate the ensuing head count is, the better administrators will be prepared to inform the first responders.
- Stairwells are very effective temporary shelters. Since most stairwells built from cement can withstand 2.5 hours of extreme heat, Ackerman made sure that the emergency evacuation route utilized Blaine campus’ most fortified stairwell.
- There is a need for memory markers along the evacuation route, as well as in relation to fire extinguisher locations.
- Responders should remember to always search in a clockwise manner.
- If a gas leak becomes a threat, responders should remember to not engage light switches or use hard lined phones. The S.I.N. method should be utilized: Secure safety, Isolate people from the smell, and Notify authorities.
“We gained a wealth of information from the seminar and are looking to revamp campus safety protocols and procedures,” Samuelson said.
Ackerman has sent the management plan to the City of Blaine Management team for consideration and advice. She also plans to submit the Minnesota School of Business-Blaine campus’s standards to the Red Cross Ready Training program, which helps businesses, schools and organizations prepare for disasters and other emergencies.
Plans are to combine the Red Cross results with what was learned at the BERM conference to ensure Minnesota School of Business’s Blaine campus is as prepared as possible for any emergency.