Coordinator announces there will no longer be zone-based drills.
By Michelle Delgado
The coordinator for college risk management appeared as a guest at the March 24 Faculty Senate meeting to announce new drill guidelines and listen to faculty concerns.
Janae Johnson is the first risk management coordinator at this college. Her position was introduced this semester to prioritize safety and emergencies.
Northwest Vista College followed with the new position, and Northeast Lakeview is looking into hiring someone to fill the new college position, Johnson said.
“My responsibilities are basically the safety officer for campus,” Johnson said. “I take a look at our emergency management procedures, drills, environmental health and safety issues.”
Johnson encouraged the senate to let her know of any situation regarding safety at this college. “I always say, ‘when in doubt, seek me out.’”
Johnson announced there would no longer be emergency drills based on zones.
“We are doing away with the zone-based drills,” she said. “They are not really accomplishing what we want, and it’s not a realistic model for the types of hazards that we will face or how we will respond to it.”
Instead of labeling zone areas, the new areas will be called by their building name.
“We need to do it in a way that prepares people better, so we will be doing drills by individual building,” she said.
Johnson said performing drills by individual building will ensure there is no confusion, and she will now be able to personally work with the action teams.
Each building has an action team that consists of faculty and staff who take charge during an emergency.
“The team will tell me when a good time and date are for the building to do drills, so hopefully, it’s not as disruptive to the normal operations and still get in this very much needed training,” Johnson said.
Fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt asked if there would be anymore traditional drills for the rest of the semester.
“As far as this schedule, we are done for the spring,” Johnson said.
Johnson also announced that the emergency emails and text messages traditionally sent to students and employees to make them aware of zones in a drill would no longer be sent.
Most people don’t know what zone they are in or what a zone is, she said.
It will now appear like, “Moody Learning Center is being evacuated,” Johnson said.
Johnson said these new drill guidelines would help students handle an emergency instead of being confused.
Mariano Aguilar Jr., English and Mexican-American studies professor, brought a concern to Johnson’s attention.
Aguilar told Johnson one of his students had tripped on loose cobblestone in the mall recently and was injured.
“A bunch of the automatic doors don’t open the way they should, elevators don’t work the way they should, so all of those three things are what I’m worried about,” Aguilar said.
Johnson said one thing she wants to get away from is hearing about incidents after the fact and encourages faculty to report all emergency and safety situations to her. “When there are falls, let me know,” Johnson said. “It helps us prioritize because budget and time restraints are always a reality.”
For more information, contact Johnson at 486-0902 or email@example.com.