From: Jennifer Gile <jen.gile**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Switch of "Campus Emergency #'s"/internal response to 911/city-town response?
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2021 10:17:39 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: CAGi+xFqjJRxrRZWAQGHgA4LmeaqB+=fDNSJXzQJPkUY-4pdLcQ**At_Symbol_Here**

Hello Margaret,

We use 911. The average individual is not great in an emergency (and that is an appropriate response) and this is why in the states we don't train kids to dial "nine eleven" - folks will stare at the telephone keypad looking for the "11". If there's an emergency, I want help on the way right now thank you very much. I also feel that I (or the faculty member or TA) would be better prepared to answer the questions the dispatcher may have (location, potential exposure, ongoing treatment) as well as be able to provide instructions to the responding individuals from the dispatcher.

Should our campus decide to implement a new number to call for emergencies I admit I would be against this. I'm a fan of keeping it simple in an emergency so I'm a fan of calling 911. And full disclosure, I was an EMT for a number of years so I'm definitely biased.

The city does work with our campus police / security - but that's for them to work out. Lab emergencies are thankfully rare and the city and campus police have many other reasons to communicate and collaborate on a more frequent basis. I can't comment on dorm emergencies as I do not work for campus housing.


On Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 5:03 PM Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Good afternoon,

We have a dedicated 'campus emergency' phone number (x800) that goes directly to Campus Safety Dispatch (our officers) and they have a direct line to fire/police/ambulance/etc. We tell students (and faculty and staff) to call x800 for lab emergencies like chemical spills/exposure, medical incidents and to report a fire that has gone out. This is especially helpful in laboratory situations, where there is a campus phone in every lab, and our officers are aware of building layout. Not all labs have good cell phone reception and calling over WIFI can be problematic, but the 'direct dial' number for Campus Safety is also provided to the students during lab safety training and they're encouraged to put it in their cell phone contacts.

Our ITS group (who manages the phone system) is concerned with compliance with the federal regulation known commonly as "Kari's Law", which requires all phones to be able to dial 911 directly. Our campus phones currently connect directly to the appropriate Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) which for us is Northampton dispatch and so are in compliance. However, the vendor for the phone system and a consultant are concerned that the continued use of 800 as a substitute for 911 and being directed to Campus Safety could be interpreted as circumventing the spirit of the law (since if directed to call 800 in an emergency it is essentially functioning as 911).

My questions are:

1) Do you currently have a 'campus emergency ' number that goes directly to your Public Safety/Campus Police dispatch/office?

2) If 'No" and your protocol is to call 911 for your PSAP, is the response to laboratory emergencies handled differently than say the response to dormitory issues? You don't have to give a long answer here unless you want to--I will likely be in touch later wanting lots of details...

3) If "Yes" to #1, do you anticipate discontinuing the use of your internal "campus emergency' number to be in compliance with Kari's Law? Are you concerned about 911 response to specific issues, such as laboratory emergencies?

4) If you will CONTINUE to use your internal 'campus emergency' number, what are your reasons for doing so?

Please feel free to contact me offline if it's easier--I am happy to compile anonymous results if requested...
MANY Thanks!
Margaret A. Rakas, Ph.D.
Lab Safety & Compliance Director
Clark Science Center
413-585-3877 (p)

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