Keeping people safe priority for emergency committee

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By Jonathan Munson

This college’s Emergency Response Committee has reconvened this semester, having already met three times to go over and update the emergency response plan.

“We’re reviewing that because there have been some changes that we need to deal with,” committee Chair Betty Lee Birdsall said. “For instance, the motor pool no longer exists.”

The motor pool is just an example. The emergency response plan assigns responsibilities to various entities on campus, such as the Child Development Center, which is supposed to utilize motor pool to evacuate children from the campus to either the First Presbyterian Children’s Center at 414 N. Alamo, or the St. Philip’s College Child Development Center at 2207 Wyoming St.

“Transportation will occur regardless of car seats,” the emergency response plan specifies. “Priority is to move the children to a safe location.”

This priority will have to be held by some other entity, which is what the Emergency Response Committee seeks to define.

“We need to make sure we have the simple things in place, and that everyone is well briefed on how to keep people as safe as possible,” Birdsall said.

One plan the committee has discussed, Birdsall said, is having the evacuation plan posted in as many classrooms as possible, maybe in poster form, and making sure that faculty chairs have the information on hand.

The committee held its last meeting Nov. 15, and the revised version of the Emergency Response Plan was sent electronically to committee members Nov. 20. After all members have had a chance to review it, another meeting will be held in December.

Birdsall said that the committee hopes to have recommendations ready for President Robert Zeigler to review before the end of this semester.

The president agrees that having a plan in place by spring is a good idea, but did not give the committee a specific deadline, he said.


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