By HALEY CASTILLO
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State University Department of Strategic Security and Safety is making efforts to raise campus community preparedness for emergency situations and disasters.
The department is in charge of all the university’s alarm systems, including alert messages that faculty, staff and students receive in the wake of an emergency. In February, the department held active shooter training sessions, where a room full of faculty and students were educated on how to respond quickly and correctly when faced with an emergency involving an active shooter.
This training points out ways to raise awareness of everyday things such as exit signs, objects to hide behind and places to avoid.
Manager of Human Resource Services Amy Phillips believes these training sessions are very helpful and insightful for the attendees, and that the sessions help prepare people for emergency situations – which they may believe couldn’t happen to them.
“I definitely had not thought about just looking for the exits in any particular situation,” Phillips said. “I certainly feel more prepared now than I did going into it.”
The Department of Strategic Security and Safety has created several security and emergency management initiatives. At the front line of this initiative is the Crisis Coordinator Certification Program.
The program contains 200 volunteers, each of whom are trained in first aid and emergency response, crisis mitigation, CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
When faced with an emergency, a crisis coordinator acts as an immediate responder while awaiting the arrival of trained police officers.
KSU Office of Research Grants Manager Deanna Hendrickson is one of these 200 trained crisis coordinators and she believes the program is an important responsive tool.
“It raises the level of awareness; being able to pinpoint things that you normally wouldn’t look for. I feel a responsibility to use the training I’ve been provided to protect others and be able to help,” Hendrickson said.
Kennesaw State University should feel safe to have the Department of Strategic Security and Safety watching over their campus community.
The department will hold more of these training sessions in the future. They will be open to all KSU faculty, staff and students and seating is for the capacity of the room.