Safety on campus starts with awareness at all times
By Matthew Cuevas
The district’s new emergency management coordinator, Will Davis, has a passion for keeping people safe.
“Keeping people safe is just something that I have always had a passion for,” Davis said Sept. 23. “Looking at things, evaluating things — putting things in place to make sure that people are safe.”
It’s that same passion Davis hopes will allow him to make a difference.
Before he was hired July 27, Davis spent more than 25 years in the U.S. Air Force as a medic and emergency medical technician.
He also has experience working as an emergency management instructor at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base as well as an EMT instructor at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, Calif.
Davis has a bachelor’s degree in health care management and a master’s degree in emergency management, both from Trident University.
The job of the emergency management coordinator for the district is to work with all five Alamo Colleges, their satellite campuses and district offices to ensure emergency operations are up to date.
This includes looking over evacuation procedures, scheduling evacuation drills for each campus, and keeping up with regulations set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
FEMA and Homeland Security require that college campuses nationwide must be drilled for certain types of emergency situations every year.
The district drills every building on all of its campuses twice a year.
Davis hopes to increase that number to four or possibly six.
It is Davis’ job to make sure that these drills are coordinated properly and that the faculty and staff who lead these drills are trained properly.
Davis emphasized he wants to make sure students are aware of what is going on around them while on campus.
A crucial part of that is knowing what to do in case of an emergency.
“I’m always worried about the safety of the individuals on campus,” Davis said. “That’s the thing that I guess you could say keeps emergency managers up at night.”
Getting students to buy in during safety drills is the most important thing in his estimation.
“When we’re dealing with the student population and we’re having drills I know that they have other things to do. And I know this may not seem important, but it can be life saving.”
Davis hopes that by getting students to pay attention and take an active role during emergency drills they will be better prepared if an emergency happens on campus.
“So you’ll know who to speak with if there is an active shooter, or if there is a fire, or if there’s inclement weather. And you’ll know exactly what to do in those situations.” Davis said.
“That way when something actually happens you’ll know where to go, and you’ll know how to react. It may seem like it’s an inconvenience, but in the long run it’s for their benefit. It’s for everybody’s benefit.”
During an emergency drill on campus students are urged to listen and follow the instructions of the building captains and floor team members in charge of each building.
Their job is to help assist students, faculty, and staff during the drill.
Building captains will be in red vests and floor captains will be in yellow vests.
Davis’ goal for students is simple.
“We’re trying to do all we can to keep them safe.” he said.