Emergency Operations Process

St. Olaf College has adopted an “All Hazards Approach” to emergency response and recovery. When warranted by the severity of the incident, the College will utilize the Incident Command System (ICS) outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as directed by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 to respond to emergencies and on-campus critical incidents.

Incident Definitions

Community Incident
“A health, safety or criminal incident that is small in scope but requires the assistance of public safety, or other internal college resources to resolve” (SOCPS)

“A health, safety or criminal incident that is larger and more serious in scope which requires the assistance of ‘external agencies’ (i.e. police, fire or EMS) to resolve” (SOCPS)

Critical Incident
“An extraordinary event that places lives and property in danger and requires the commitment and coordination of numerous resources to bring about a successful resolution” (USDOJ)

“A violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any segment thereof, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives” (USDOJ)

Categories of Critical Incidents

Criminal Activities

  • Active Shooters /Barricaded Gunman/Hostage Taking Incidents
  • Arson
  • Civil Disorders

Fires/Hazardous Materials Accidents

  • Hazardous Chemical Spills or Explosions
  • Industrial Fires/Accidents
  • High Rise and Multiple Dwelling Fires

Natural Disasters

  • Earthquakes and Floods
  • Hurricanes and Tornados
  • Ice Storms/Blizzards
  • Public Health Incidents

Transportation Accidents

  • Plane Crash
  • Train wreck

Terrorist Activities and Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Radiological
  • Nuclear
  • Explosive

Public Safety Response

Initial Response
Upon notification of an incident/situation on campus, Public Safety will be immediately dispatched to the scene. Public Safety will assess the situation and determine if additional personnel and resources are necessary (College or external agencies).  If the incident/emergency requires police, fire or medical support, Public Safety will call 911 and coordinate efforts as appropriate with the responding agencies.  If confronted with a critical incident or act of terrorism, Public Safety will call 911, initiate critical tasks and activate the Critical Event Response Team (CERT).

Initial Goals of Public Safety

  • Ensure citizen and responder safety
  • Limit the growth of the incident
  • Stabilize the scene

CERT (Critical Event Response Team)
The CERT team is a small group of experienced college personnel who have significant responsibility for student life, campus safety, college facilities, and communication.

Operational Objectives of CERT

  • Provide an initial response to critical events/incidents on campus and in the immediate area
  • Meet with the Incident Commander (first responding officer) for a briefing on incident progress
  • Assess the current situation and potential progress/impact of the incident
  • Assemble available on-campus resources and personnel to respond to the incident
  • If appropriate, compose and send emergency notifications to the community
  • Determine if campus access should be restricted or the campus closed
  • Determine if the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) should be activated and the level of staffing

Emergency Operations Center  (EOC)

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the designated physical location where Incident Command personnel will report to begin the process of responding to the emergency.  The Incident Commander shall determine the location of the EOC. All direction and control in response to a disaster shall be carried out at the EOC.

EOC Activation Criteria

  • The EOC may be partially activated due to a potential threat to life and property from severe weather (i.e. tornado, flooding, blizzard, etc.), fire or a hazardous materials incident/accident.
  • The EOC will be fully activated in response to an actual incident resulting in a threat to or loss of life and property.  This would include but is not limited to the aftermath of a tornado, blizzard, airliner crash, fire, explosion, hostage situation, hazardous materials spill, armed intruder or a facilities incident that requires the assistance and coordination of local and perhaps state and federal agencies.

EOC Staffing Levels

  • Partial activation

Staffing will consist of a CERT Team representative and specialized staff may be requested as deemed appropriate depending upon the type of incident encountered.

  • Full activation

Staffing will consist of the entire CERT Team, all Public Safety personnel, Vice President & Treasurer, Director of Telecommunications, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and the Grounds Manager.