(Photo: Jonesboro Fire Department personnel check the route between Engineering and Dean B. Ellis Library. From: ASU)
JONESBORO - Arkansas State University welcomed local emergency response personnel to the campus today to show appreciation to them for their dedication and service and to update them on the campus layout and access routes.
City and county personnel were treated to lunch and a tour so emergency personnel will have the latest applicable information in case of a crisis. The university historically has worked with local agencies to prepare for possible emergencies.
"Ultimately, this project is carried out as a means to create a safer environment for the students, faculty and staff who are on campus every day," stated Dr. Jason Penry, chief of staff at ASU.
The appreciation day is a way to help refresh veteran responders' knowledge of the campus and better orient newer personnel.
"With a continually evolving campus landscape that involves the closure of inner campus streets and building and location name changes, along with normal turnover in emergency response agencies, we want to make response agencies more familiar with the campus so personnel can quickly locate individuals in need of emergency assistance," according to Jon Carvell, program coordinator for space management in the university's Facilities Management division.
"In addition to expressing our appreciation by providing a luncheon to the frontline staffs, the occasion provides an invaluable opportunity to bring emergency response personnel from on and off campus together for a review of maps and other way-finding resources, signage, and emergency procedures for building access and egress," he added.
A-State personnel from Facilities Management, University Police, the Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education, and other units that would be involved in a crisis also participated.
The day concluded with a tour of emergency access routes and other areas that may cause confusion in an emergency, including a demonstration of route accessibility with larger trucks.
"The primary goal was to bring as many frontline emergency responders as possible to the ASUJ campus for a tour aimed at facilitating a more efficient emergency response time," Carvell added.
Two large groups of participants alternated with having lunch and taking the campus tour.