SCC Conducting Emergency Training Session Friday
Sandhills Community College President John Dempsey said there are "few responsibilities we have greater than keeping our campus safe."
After the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, Sandhills Community College administrators and security personnel took a careful look at the emergency and safety measures on campus.
An Emergency Preparedness Committee was formed to make recommendations regarding campus safety.
To protect students and instructors, the committee recommended that locks be installed on all classroom doors, which has been done. All key locks were retrofitted with push-button locks. The college also has a lock-down procedure similar to that of Moore County school system.
The college now has an external audible siren that can be heard throughout the campus. A voice message can also be broadcast to all those who may be outside should an emergency occur. The broadcast can be heard in the nearby buildings, and speakers have been installed in the more remote buildings.
The college implements planned drills once a semester to demonstrate the siren sounds and to give the faculty an opportunity to explain to students the procedures in case of an emergency.
A Risk Assessment Team was formed, which evaluates and advises in the event of complex, at-risk student cases.
Key staff members are more vigilant about sharing information about individuals who may pose a threat to the college community.
The college will have a training session and an emergency walk-through drill Friday afternoon.
The entire campus will be closed to students and visitors at 1 p.m.
Attendance by all faculty and staff is mandatory.
"Although we cannot plan for every situation," said Mike Green, patrol officer at Sandhills, "we want our staff and faculty to be well-prepared to act in an efficient and organized manner if we should ever have a tragic emergency on our campus.
"We want our staff and faculty to think and respond appropriately. No two incidents are alike and each require individual responses, but being clear-headed and having a plan in place is vital in an institution such as ours."
The Sandhills Visitor's Center and the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens will remain open during the training period.
Students who require transportation after 1 p.m. should be picked up at the Visitors' Center.
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