The Mainstream
PE Complex and Tom Keel Fitness Center

Lockdown Drills: Being prepared for the unexpected

Starting on March 10 Umpqua Community College will begin having lockdown drills. Lockdown drills have been around for a while and are now happening more often as safety preparedness is important.

The drills will be happening on March 10, 11 and 13.  They will be conducted by UCC’s security team and each building will be done separately.  “This is the first time that UCC has participated in any kind of lockdown drill,” says Brian Sanders, chief of security at UCC.

Graphic by Boone Olson
Schedule of Lockdown Drills

While the drills are going on there will be two areas available to those that are emotionally affected by the drills.  The first one is available to students and will be located in the Veteran’s Center on Campus.  The Veteran’s Center is found at the Educational Skills Building, also known as the ESB, in room 31.  It will be a quiet and calm place to help those that are struggling with the drills.  The other area is for faculty and is located in the Human Resources department.  If the situation is too much for one to handle, it is very important to take advantage of these resources that have been made available.

The purpose of these drills is to help create a safer environment as well as teaching faculty and students how to be better prepared.  To help remember what to do during a lockdown, at the beginning of the drill the following message will be announced over the loud speakers: “Locks, lights, and out of sight.”  This is to remind students and staff to secure the location and also help protect those inside. “There will be no yelling, banging, SWAT, Fire trucks, ect… It will be similar to a fire drill,” says Sanders. Also, during the drills signs will be placed on each end of the building to let those outside know that there is a drill going on. It is important to remember that these drills are being done to help make campus safer.  As this is a learning process for everyone, Sanders explained that he will be taking suggestions on how to do it better for in the future.

The lockdown drills are governed by the Standard Response Protocol, as well as other safety aspects at UCC. The Standard Response Protocol was first created in 2009 by the “I Love U Guys” foundation, which was started by Ellen and John-Michael Keyes, and it has been updated every year since its creation. “Our school safety plan, The Standard Response Protocol, requires us to conduct these drills twice per year. In reality these drills should have started years ago,” says Sanders.

Not only is it important to have these drills to help students and faculty be prepared and know what to do in that situation, but it also builds muscle memory.  This is important as it allows your body to take over and do what needs to be done during an emergency.

The drills are new to everyone, as this is the first time doing them at UCC, so it is going to be a learning experience for everyone. This is not just because of the drills, but also because it gives campus security a chance to check the school and make sure that everything is in good shape and working order.  “Since I have been working on these drills, I have already found a number of things we need to do to keep the college safer. An example of this: I have already found over five doors that need to have the locking mechanism fixed so they can be locked in an easier timely fashion,” says Sanders.  Improvements are already being made to make campus a safer place to learn.

Kacy Buxton

Contact me at UCCMainstream@yahoo.com