TICONDEROGA When a gunman killed 33 people and wounded 29 others on the campus of Virginia Tech last spring, officials at North Country Community College took notice.
As a result they have completed an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for each of their three campuses: Saranac Lake, Malone, and Ticonderoga.
All three of the North Country College campuses are glad to be proactively prepared in case of an emergency in the future, said Bruce Young, assistant dean for institutional advancement. Moreover, this ERP is an ever-evolving document that will be updated frequently and reviewed formally twice a year.
The emergency plan was created by a committee that updated an existing plan.
An internal committee was tasked by both the college and SUNY to update an existing manual, complete with diagrams of every building and inch of property on all three NCCC campuses, Young said. Back in the fall of 2006 this group began to develop a definitive booklet that would lay out everything from internal chains of emergency command, to phone numbers in the surrounding communities that will allow coordination between the affected campus (or campuses) and local first responders.
The 72-page ERP manuals planners have diverse backgrounds in such subjects as building design and civil preparedness which put them in a good position when it came time to decide how to best evacuate a building in the event of anything like a Virginia Tech-like incident, or how to quarantine some part of the three NCCC campuses in the event of an outbreak of contagious disease in the nearby communities, he added.
The officials who will be responsible for safety at each of the three NCCC campuses are already in possession of the ERP; an abbreviated version of the text will soon be posted on the NCCC website for students, their families, and the surrounding community residents to review at any time.
While no one at NCCC is aware of when a specific threat or hazard may come along, isnt it only right to be preparedjust in case?, Young asked.