Keene State College is working on its training when it comes to the safety of the students and faculty.
Ralph Stuart has been the Environmental Safety Manager at KSC for the last three years. Stuart has been working on improving the school’s safety training when it comes it more than just science laboratory safety. “We used to just focus on Occupational Safety Councils of America (OSCA) regulatory compliance issues, but those issues apply to specific jobs. They don’t apply to campus-wide safety issues, and so, since I took over that function, I have converted to address larger campus-wide issues, emergency response in particular,” Stuart said. “We are not trying to make everyone an expert in active shooter response. We are trying to help people be ready so that if something develops, they know how to be ready themselves and help other people around them.”
Even though there are no trainings for students who do not work in a science or work laboratory, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Campus Safety Jeff Maher said, “While active shooter programming is not currently mandated for students, incoming students receive general safety education during their orientation experience.”
KSC has a very strict policy when it comes to laws about guns on campus. Maher said, “Keene State College policy does not permit firearms on campus or within campus buildings, with the exception of those carried by sworn law enforcement personnel in performance of their duties.”
Maher encourages students to contact Campus Safety if they have concerns about their safety.
Stuart explained that there are flyers up all over campus, and what they do is outline the responses to four kinds of emergencies: fire, active shooter, medical emergency and hazardous material spills.
For an active shooter, the safety procedure is to Run, Hide, Fight.
Stuart said, “There is a run, hide, fight video that was done by the Houston Police Department about how to respond to an active shooter situation. Since I have been here, we have had three campus lockdowns for people with guns in unknown situations on campus. So about once a year, maybe, there is an active shooter situation.”
Some students, like sophomore Camila Castro, think it’s important to know the “protocol for the safety of everyone.”
“You can carry a gun around in New Hampshire, but you can’t do that in New York where I am from,” Castro said. “On top of what’s going on with all the school shootings, it’s just a scary thought of what could happen. You never know.”
KSC works closely with the Keene Police Department when it comes to the safety protocols that are put forth when it concerns an active shooter situation.
Maher said, “Keene State maintains a strong, collaborative relationship with the Keene Police Department.The primary goal in responding to any active shooter situation is ending the threat as quickly as possible, while simultaneously protecting our students and community members. Our policies and protocols are designed with this goal in mind.”
Maher said, “The safety of our students and community members is of paramount importance here at Keene State College. It is truly embedded in the core educational mission of Keene State.”
KSC has many safety precautions that they put in place to help ensure maximum safety for everyone on campus.
Maher said, “Our comprehensive approach encourages bystander intervention when possible and other physical security measures, such as emergency blue lights, restricted card access and emergency notification systems to name but a few.”
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