As our Chancellor Dr. Steven Angle and the Emergency Services team promised, steps have been taken to improve our emergency management plan. The update includes our updated lock-down procedure, communication/UTC-ALERT, campus trainings, and TEMA evaluation.
In the event of a threat to campus labeled as an Act of Violence (active shooter, potential gunman, violent protest, etc.) we will lock-down the campus until the threat is over. Remotely all exterior doors of academic buildings, residential halls and gymnasiums will be locked barring any potential dangerous person(s) to harm students, faculty, staff or visitors.
While all exterior doors are able to be locked remotely at this time, we are currently working on finding a visual mechanism to show that they are locked, enhancing a sense of security in a lock-down scenario.
Due to how long an ongoing situation could potentially last and how fast misinformation can spread, our plan now is to send out frequent updates, even if the message is still the same. In the event of Acts of Violence on campus we will send out an unified update via UTC-ALERT every 10-15 minutes to confirm that the situation is still being addressed, as well as information on how to stay safe in certain situations.
We have added an Alterus function to every computer on campus. When an UTC-ALERT message is pushed out that requires immediate action to stay safe, Alertus will trigger on all logged in screens and display alert information on what to do. This is only for UTC operated and owned desktops and cannot be added to personal devices.
Directions on the UTC-ALERT page on utc.edu/ALERT has been updated to be clear on how to sign up. Each individual with a UTC ID can sign up a total of three phone numbers and three email accounts to receive alert notifications. Efforts have been raised to address access to those who visit the campus or those who have a difficult time signing up the free service. If you are still having issues signing up, please contact Safety and Risk Management by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-425-5741.
As of November 15th, a total of 700 faculty and staff have received Active Shooter training. These are mandatory trainings from the Chancellor’s Office and those whom have not received a training have been scheduled in the near future. A representative from both the Police Department and the Office of Safety and Risk Management provides the training at the departments location in order to help give specific training and field questions pertaining to their hall or building.
There have been three safety trainings offered to students, as well as a Campus Safety Forum hosted by SGA and a Town Hall Meeting open to campus addressing emergency preparedness in the state of Tennessee. Although these were not heavily attended, we received good feedback on how to get better outreach to students on safety as well as increasing efforts on creating resources online, thinkSAFE safety grams and social media presence via UTC Police Department and UTC Emergency Services.
Multiple representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have given our emergency preparedness procedures and policies a thorough overview. After the regional director, among others, read through our plans a rep from TEMA came and gave the UTC leadership a summary of their findings. Based on their feedback we are bolstering minor changes; but, we are aligned with the state’s procedures and the surrounding agencies in the event of an emergency situation on campus.
On behalf of Emergency Services, we shall always continue to hold our main focus that is the well-being of our campus community.
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Break!