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by Princine Lewis | Friday, Apr. 19, 2013, 4:52 PM
The Vanderbilt University Police Department has established a new unit dedicated to preparing for and managing emergency situations, such as those related to severe weather, large special events, dignitary visits and Vanderbilt sporting events and concerts.
The move consolidates emergency planning and management efforts at the university. Previously, staff in the Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety office monitored and prepared for severe weather emergencies, while VUPD handled emergencies related to criminal activity.
The new unit also will work closely with the Medical Center’s emergency preparedness team.
Headed by Capt. Rick Burr, the new Emergency Preparedness Unit includes Lt. Tommye Sutton and Sgt. Angela King. Johnny Vanderpool, emergency preparedness coordinator at the university, also has joined the team.
Among their responsibilities are conducting contingency planning initiatives, training VUPD staff on incident command procedures and the National Incident Management System, conducting threat assessments for Vanderbilt properties, maintaining the Vanderbilt campus emergency preparedness website and educating staff across the university about emergency preparedness.
The group also will complete after-action reports for emergency incidents and situations, partner with federal and local agencies to assess and minimize infrastructure vulnerabilities, and track, investigate and report fires on campus.
Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety will continue to provide technical support related to biological, chemical, environmental or radiation emergency issues and respond to hazardous materials emergencies on campus and the Medical Center.
Establishing the new VUPD Emergency Preparedness Unit strengthens emergency management on campus and allows VEHS and VUPD to work closely together in providing the Vanderbilt community a safer campus environment.
Princine Lewis, (615) 322-NEWS
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