Barry McNamara  |   Published July 11, 2016

Safety and security

Davis reports on successful ‘table-top’ exercise, other emergency training
  • Campus Safety and Security Director Andy Davis prepares his team to handle incidents of all types.
The Monmouth College Office of Campus Safety and Security practices being prepared for emergencies of all types and sizes. And earlier this year, the office took time to review best practices with area emergency officials.

An exercise planned and conducted by Campus Safety and Security Director Andy Davis was chronicled in the first edition of School & Campus Safety News, which is published by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute at Western Illinois University. The exercise, which was held March 28, brought together College administrators and staff, as well as area “first responders” – staff from police and fire departments, the hospital, the county health department and the coroner’s office.

“It took some coordination,” said Davis, who said planning for the simulated active shooter event began “last November or December.” Known as a “table-top exercise,” the March event was part of what Davis called a “systematic training approach.” It will likely be followed in 2016-17 by a similar but more involved event, leading to a “full-scale, capstone training exercise.”

Prior to the March event, participants were provided a refresher on the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System.

“The discussions resulted in an increased awareness of what resources would be available from various agencies,” Davis said. “Where and how resources would be accessed, prioritized, utilized and coordinated among the many involved organizations was discussed. The value of establishing a unified command very early and having clear objectives was a recurring theme.”

In addition to having a plan in place for major events, Davis’s department is also prepared to handle incidents that are apt to occur more frequently. Members of his eight-member security guard staff are all certified in first aid and CPR, allowing them to provide vital assistance before first responders arrive on campus. Security officers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We always have between two and four guards on duty,” Davis said. “We plus-up the on-duty guards every Friday and Saturday night and for big events, such as Homecoming.”

Security guards are also available to escort students on campus, and they will now be able to assist students by jump-starting a dead car battery or airing up tires. One vehicle’s battery that shouldn’t need jumping for a while is a new Chevrolet Equinox that Davis was pleased to acquire recently for the office.

Davis is also pleased by another new addition – a notification system called Regroup, which is scheduled to be in place when classes start in August. The tool will further enhance the College’s ability to communicate quickly and effectively during an emergency.

“It has a ‘panic button’ if the app is downloaded,” Davis said. “In the event of a medical emergency, such as someone falling down the stairs or suffering from a heart attack, the responder would call up the app, pick the problem from the list, and 9-1-1 would automatically be called. It’s also a way to simply better inform everybody in the event of a campus-wide emergency.”

In addition to the table-top exercise, Davis and Mark Grover, Monmouth’s security site supervisor, have led active shooter presentations in the residence halls, and they also hope to get more students involved by offering them free first aid and CPR certification sessions.
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