Campus emergency response plan
Augustana’s emergency response plan relies upon the cooperation and support of all members of the Augustana community. While emergency drills will be held on campus during the academic year in conjunction with local police, fire and emergency staff, ultimately it is the responsibility of each member of our community to behave in a responsible manner should a crisis occur. Please read on to learn:
How to equip yourself to handle a campus emergency:
- Sign up for e2Campus. E2Campus is a text messaging system, operated at an off-campus location, which will be used to communicate with the Augustana community during an emergency. Within minutes of our security staff being informed of a credible emergency situation, e2Campus will alert the community to the nature of the emergency and the correct response of community members.
- Learn to listen for the emergency alert sirens. Sirens are tested on the first Tuesday morning of every month. Familiarize yourself with this sound. Should there be an emergency, the main outdoor siren, along with a number of internal sirens, will be sounded for at least 60 seconds in as many intervals as deemed appropriate.
- E2Campus, the college website, and Augustana-assigned email accounts will be used to communicate instructions on where to go, how long to stay there and any other pertinent information. Updates will be provided as needed.
- Should our communication system be inoperable, bullhorns are located around campus and trained staff members will be placed near residence halls and groupings of buildings to provide information. Should normal communications be down, look for an employee with a bullhorn in your vicinity.
- Emergency instruction posters are located in each classroom, office area and residence hall room. Be familiar with what these look like and where they are located throughout campus. Should there be an emergency, you will need to consult these posters for directions prompted by the text-messaging, website and email communication systems.
How to report an emergency
To report a campus emergency, call either 9-911(Rock Island Police Department) or Extension 7711 (from a cell phone, 1-309-794-7711), which is Augustana Public Safety. Both of these numbers are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The dispatcher answering the call will need specific information including location, the kind of emergency and as many details as possible. Callers should focus on answering the questions and providing accurate information.
When calling for help from security or police, consider the following process:
9-911 will connect you with Rock Island Police Department, which has immediate contact with the fire department, ambulances, the hospitals, etc. An emergency requiring this type of intervention could be reported first to 9-911 with a follow up call to Extension 7711 if possible. Examples of possible calls to 9-911 may be a fire, an unconscious person, or someone threatening others with a weapon. Extension 7711 will connect you with Augustana Public Safety If assistance is required of Rock Island police and fire departments, they will call 9-911. Examples of possible reasons for calls may include potential gas leak, a fist fight, suspicious person or someone seriously inebriated or feeling faint.
The following scenarios are written below to serve as guidance for how best to respond to specific incidences.
Life-threatening medical emergency
Mental health emergency
Medical or mental health concern
Suspicious mail or package
Utilities or power outages
Ice storms or similiar conditions
The City of Rock Island and Augustana College uses sirens to indicate emergencies on or near campus. If you hear a siren, the emergency may require evacuating, finding shelter or lockdown.
The college’s response to an emergency
The Augustana Office of Public Safety and the City of Rock Island Emergency Response Team may both be called upon during an incident. Roles for the two organizations are dependent upon the nature and level of the emergency.
Augustana Public Safety officers will most likely handle circumstances such as the following: 1) a student falls down the stairs with no evidence of broken bones or bleeding, but in pain, 2) an intoxicated student who is yelling and stumbling, 3) a student suffers a seizure but regains consciousness within a few seconds and 4) a student who feels very ill and needs help getting back to his or her room or to the doctor, etc.
At Public Safety's discretion or for more serious situations, like the receipt of a bomb threat, the discovery of a gun on-campus, the City of Rock Island Emergency Reponse Teams will be called for assistance and/or direct the college's response.
Augustana personnel have been trained in teams to respond to emergency situations. The size and type of emergency will dictate the response team(s). Command centers have been identified on- and off-campus so that responders can work together in one location to provide an effective response. A standard response team includes the president of the college, dean of college, vice president of finance, dean of students, vice president of enrollment and communication, director of security, general counsel and director of public relations. Each of these individuals will head a sub-team of staff members trained to carry out specific duties in a given emergency situation.
Qualifications, training and prevention
Augustana's Office of Public Safety is comprised of full-time, trained public safety officers who serve the campus community. The officers, who are certified in first aid, CPR and NIMS, do not carry a weapon but will handle most disturbances. Public Safety can be reached at (309) 794-7711, or ext. 7711 from an on-campus phone. A 911 call from Augustana's campus will be answered by the Rock Island emergency dispatcher. The dispatcher will access the emergency and send the correct response personnel to address the situation. Public Safety, Rock Island Police and Fire Departments train together during the year and maintain an open and collaborative relationship.
Key college personnel have also received National Incident Management System (NIMS) training to effectively work with local, state and federal emergency responders. In most cases, members of the Office of Public Safety along with Augustana emergency response teams and the Rock Island police and fire departments will respond to emergencies.
To maintain the safety of students throughout campus, residence halls use card access, non-duplicable keys are issued for rooms, and a residential life staff member is on-call 24 hours a day when school is in session. Public Safety works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is accessible through a dispatcher at ext. 7711 all year. During weekend evenings, an off-duty police officer provides extra security both on campus and in the neighborhoods where students live.
Augustana College conducts a continuous planning program to insure the safety of its community. Every five years, an outside safety and security consultant is brought to campus to review the college’s security procedures, staff, facilities, grounds and communication system. A team of seven staff members from across the campus meets throughout the year to upgrade the emergency response plans, implement training and drills.
Augustana College does train and educate students each year about preventative safety measures. However, in the event of an emergency, the Dean of Students Office will inform the community in a timely manner. A crime that is determined to be a serious threat to one or more individuals will be sent via email to the entire community within 24 hours of being reported. A crime log is available in the security office. Crime statistics are reported each year in accordance with the Cleary Act and are available on the Public Safety website as well as by printed copy.
Mental health concerns
Anyone concerned about the behavior of a member of the Augustana community, or someone who has ties to the community, should report concerns to Augustana security or to the dean of students. A team consisting of the dean of students, the director of security and the director of counseling will initially assess the threat and provide an appropriate intervention, if needed. Staff with expertise in the area of concern will be called in to assist when needed.
Behaviors of concern include verbal or physical threats, erratic or violent behavior, seeing or hearing about someone with a weapon on campus, or anything that makes a person feel particularly unsafe. We would rather check into an unfounded concern than remain unaware of a potential emergency situation.
Augustana College strives to balance the rights of the individual with the needs of the community while following state and federal guidelines. We respect the individual’s right to privacy, but when an individual may put the community at risk, we will intervene on behalf of the community.
Each year the college offers dozens of programs designed to help students remain safe, including programs addressing alcohol abuse, acquaintance rape and self-defense. For further information, contact the Dean of Students Office at (309) 794-7533.