By Doc Anderson
Northeast Texas Community College recently implemented a new safety and security response program designed to streamline a more proactive approach to campus emergencies. The NTCC Safety and Security Committee made the decision to adapt the nationally used Standard Response Protocol derived from the I Love U Guys Foundation. NTCC Senior Vice President for Student Success Dr. Kevin Rose said the new SRP takes an all-hazards approach to critical incidents. “We are doing drills for critical incidents and taking action as a result of that,” Rose said. “At any given point in time, we are training for action, not necessarily specific events.”
The SRP operational guide for a higher education environment is based on five emergency response actions: “Hold,” “Secure,” “Lockdown,” “Evacuate” and “Shelter.” In the event of a critical incident, the required action would correspond with a uniformed phrase announced through the campus PA system. Each phrase is geared toward the severity of the situation and delivers a specific action to be taken by the students, faculty and staff. After the announcement, students and faculty would be expected to perform the desired action and wait for further guidance. Rose said the public school safety response protocol created by the I Love U Guys Foundation is used locally in the Region VIII public school systems.
NTCC faculty was introduced to the new SRP plan during the fall 2022 faculty in-service. Further training and information was reiterated this spring to both faculty and staff. Information from the SRP is being used to train the campus community on the procedures that would be utilized during each of the five actions. Rose said the current SRP replaces the old system that trained for specific events, i.e. tornado or fire drills and allows for everyone to be on the same page during an emergency. NTCC has live drills planned during the spring and summer semesters.
“The SRP provides a concise and uniform communication vehicle for use by all students, staff and first responders,” Rose said.
Russel VanBibber, EMS instructor and interim EMS program director, said the uniformity of the SRP allows for an automatic response to emergencies. VanBibber also serves as a member of the Safety and Security Committee and is able to offer input from his past experiences in emergency services.
“The SRP has been used in the K-12 schools for several years. It makes sense we add it to our plans,”Vanbibber said. “The SRP reduces the confusion in a high stress situation.”
Russell Taylor, security coordinator, said the SRP brings the entire campus community together under one umbrella, eliminating any confusion between faculty, staff, students or first responders.
“I see it [SRP] as a positive. It is one program, in which most college students agree,” Taylor said. “Now we can work collectively as one unit, with one program and train so we are all on the same page.”
The “I Love You Guys” foundation was created by John-Michael and Ellen Keyes in 2006 after a school shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Colorado claimed the life of their daughter, Emily. According to their website, their mission is “To restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities.” The name of the organization comes from the last text message Emily sent her parents before her death.
Informational posters explaining the SRP individual response actions of faculty and students will be placed throughout the campus and inside classrooms during the spring semester.. For more information about the SRP contact Dr. Kevin Rose at email@example.com.