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Augustana is a "Ready to Respond" leader

April  22, 2013

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today announced an initiative to enhance safety for students, staff and visitors on college and university campuses. Augustana is one of nine colleges and universities will participate in a pilot of the Ready to Respond Campus program, with a full rollout of the program expected in January 2014.

“The Ready to Respond Campus program will recognize those institutions that meet rigorous standards for ensuring the safety of their students, staff and visitors,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken. “The Ready to Respond Campus designation will let current and prospective students and their parents know that safety is a top priority on the campus.”

Schools participating in the pilot program include:

• Augustana College (Rock Island)

• Columbia College (Chicago)

• Heartland Community College (Normal)

• Parkland College (Champaign)

• Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills)

• Richland Community College (Decatur)

• Southeastern Illinois College (Harrisburg)

• Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)

• University of Illinois (Urbana/Champaign)

To attain the Ready to Respond Campus designation, colleges must demonstrate compliance with standards for hazard identification, operational and violence prevention planning, incident management, training, exercises and crisis communications/public education.

Colleges and universities meeting the criteria will be designated a Ready to Respond Campus and can use the Ready Campus logo on official correspondence, websites, brochures and other media for three years. They will be able to renew their Ready to Respond Campus designation by submitting updated documentation at that time.

"Augustana College is grateful for the opportunity to participate in Illinois' ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ pilot program,” said Dr. Evelyn Campbell, dean and vice-president of student services at Augustana.

“We see this as an excellent opportunity to refine our emergency plans and make them more compatible with emergency responders and state agencies that would assist us in the event of a crisis," Dr. Campbell said. "Augustana is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its students, faculty and staff, and while a crisis could occur anywhere, our presence here today demonstrates Augustana College's commitment to being prepared."

“Columbia College Chicago embraces the opportunity to support an initiative founded on best practices in emergency preparedness, response and management,” said Martha Meegan, director of campus safety and security at Columbia College Chicago.

The Ready to Respond Campus program is the latest component of Illinois’ Ready to Respond effort. In 2012, IEMA announced the Ready to Respond Community initiative. The program is endorsed by the Illinois Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (ICLEA) and supported by IEMA and the University of Illinois’ Center for Public Safety and Justice (CPSJ).

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833