The quiet of Grace Doherty Library at Centre College was recently disrupted when an emergency drill was conducted that involved a hostage scenario and put the entire campus on lockdown.
“The purpose of the drill was to prepare the Centre community for a crisis on campus,” Director of Department of Public Safety (DPS) Gary Bugg said. “We achieved this by testing the Emergency Mass Notification System, by testing campus lockdown procedures and by getting everyone to consider what they would do in the event of an actual crisis.”
The mock scenario, which took place Nov. 28, involved an individual taking a hostage in the staff lounge on the first floor of Doherty Library.
“The Crisis Management Team convened and discussed the situation and formulated plans for possible scenarios related to this event,” Bugg explained. “This drill also provided each team member the opportunity to be proactive about what they would do in their area in the event of a true emergency.”
In addition, the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office, Centre’s facilities management staff and other key campus employees were involved in the drill to ensure campus safety.
“We were very pleased with how the drill went,” Bugg said. “Our Emergency Mass Notification was extremely effective, the campus lockdown went smoothly and we received great cooperation and participation from the Centre community.”
President John A. Roush adds that these drills are important to conduct, “all-the-while hoping and praying that we would never be required to take such actions.
“In these ‘interesting times in which to live,’ I remind myself, often, that it is important for us to ‘be ready’ while not allowing ourselves to be unhealthily frightened,” he continued. “This was that sort of day, and I am pleased—not surprised—that the campus community did well.”
A previous drill involving an active shooter scenario was met with similar success.
“There are important lessons to be learned from these drills,” Bugg concluded. “They help us closely review our preparedness as we strive to improve our crisis management planning.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
November 30, 2017