April 21, 2008

Sacramento State to conduct critical incident test

Photo: Cell Phone receiving text messege

In light of critical incidents at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, Sacramento State is stepping up its campus crisis communication procedure with a test run of a new emergency notification system and a simulated critical incident on Friday, April 25.
           
The emergency exercise will test the campus’ new automated Emergency Notification System, known as ENS. The notification system automates delivery of urgent announcements to large groups of people, such as students, faculty and staff, via text, voice and e-mail broadcasts.
           
“The safety of our students, faculty, staff and campus visitors is paramount, and the implementation of the new emergency alert system is a significant step toward that end,” says University President Alexander Gonzalez.
           
The alerts would only be used in the event of an emergency that threatened the campus community’s health and safety, as well as provide protective action recommendations. Examples of such events would be a campus shooting, bomb threat, hazardous materials spills, flood or fire.

During the simulated critical incident, a select group of faculty, staff and students on campus, and in the area of the training exercise, will receive a text message stating that an “ENS Police Emergency” test is being conducted.

Public Safety officers will conduct a drill in a yet-to-be-specified building or buildings on campus, simulating a critical incident involving an active shooter.
           
The test is a simulation of the communication system that would be triggered in the event of an emergency, in which a text alert may be sent, a voice mail alert sent, and an e-mail message sent in rapid succession.
           
In the event of an actual emergency event, Public Safety can send a text message, pre-written for a variety of emergency scenarios. A follow-up e-mail may be sent shortly thereafter, with more specific details of the event and safety procedures, and an all-clear message sent upon incident resolution. The community will also be alerted to visit the campus’ homepage, www.csus.edu, for more information.
           
“We’re testing the system in order to exercise our new processes and ensure a seamless integration of the system in the event of an emergency,” says Public Safety Chief Ken Barnett. “The key to the success of this system will be an up-to-date database with the correct contact information for the university community.” Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to provide accurate contact information at www.csus.edu/ENS.

For more information or media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.