Orange Coast College held an Emergency Preparedness Information Session bringing awareness to staff and faculty on campus in the Student Union on April 28.
The Academic Senate, Classified Senate, and Office of the President sponsored the panel discussion. OCC President Angelica Suarez gave an introductory welcome before the panel began thanking faculty and staff for attending the event.
A focal point for the event is the development for building marshals to be helpful in getting people out of the building that needs to be evacuated.
“Really the primary function of the building marshal is to clear the building, go from room to room and make sure that everybody is getting out and with a special concern for anyone who needs special assistance,” Fawcett said.
As the responsibilities of a building marshal are explained, each building on campus is to have a building marshal.
“At this point in time, it's been very much a kind of a self-selection process and certain individuals have kind of assumed the responsibility of building marshal because there's someone who is quite often in the building.” Fawcett said.
COVID-19 has contributed to a lack of training. With faculty and students not being allowed on campus, OCC went quiet for a long period of time.
Fawcett suggested that building marshals on campus wear a green neon vest during an emergency like a fire or earthquake to show students a position of authority during those crises.
“When everybody's evacuating a building, knowing who some key faculty or staff are – we should be following their instruction,” OCC Accounting Professor Arabian Morgan said. “It does give an appearance of maybe, ‘this person, I should listen to them.’”
Fawcett has also suggested putting evacuation zones in the class syllabus to help students know where to go in an emergency.
“The evacuation instructions though, I think, need to be given in class in person,” Morgan said, “We should take the time to point it out. I do at the beginning of the semester.”
OCC has created a safety notification form for anyone to sign up to receive public safety text messages and emails.
An emergency operations booklet created by OCC is available online. OCC has also created general guidelines when confronted with an emergency and is intended for how the College plans on responding to emergencies or disasters with the Emergency Preparedness information.
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