44.100: Critical Incidents




October 23, 2007

Initiated by:

Michael Martinsen | Chief of Ohio University Police Department

Endorsed by:

Kathy Krendl | Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview

    This policy describes the response to any crisis situation that requires bringing together the critical incident response team (CIRT) and if necessary the president's executive staff. The objectives are to provide input and resources to on-scene emergency personnel and to develop an appropriate institutional response concerning the incident. The intent of this policy is not to detail incident-specific procedures, but to establish a critical incident declaration process, and to define the CIRT, critical incident command center, and critical incident media site.

    Ohio university will work to efficiently and effectively serve the university and surrounding communities in times of crisis. Ohio university will use its expertise, resources, and communication capabilities for the purpose of safeguarding persons and property that may be affected by the critical incident.

    Emergency response plans defining specific procedures will be developed and maintained by the Ohio university police department and the department of environmental health and safety, with input from the university community. Procedures will be reviewed on an annual basis by the standing critical incident response team.

  2. Definitions

    1. Critical incident

      Any incident requiring immediate actions be taken to ensure a safe and healthful environment and that university operations are maintained or restored.

    2. Critical incident response team (CIRT)

      The standing CIRT consists of the chief of police (co-chair), assistant vice president for safety and risk management (co-chair), dean of students, associate vice president for facilities, assistant vice president for auxiliary services, emergency programs coordinator, and executive director for communications and marketing.

      Upon the declaration of a critical incident, the CIRT chair will appoint appropriate members to the augmented CIRT, based on the nature of the incident. In most cases, the augmented CIRT will include all members of the standing CIRT.

    3. Critical incident command center

      This is selected from pre-determined locations for the president's executive staff and the CIRT to meet when a critical incident has been declared. These locations will not be publicized.

    4. Critical incident media site

      This is selected from pre-determined locations for the dissemination of information to the media. The following have been designated as critical incident media sites, although other locations may be selected as appropriate to the specific incident: Baker university center (various locations), computer services center 121B, Howard park, Nelson commons, and Irvine hall. Upon declaration of a critical incident, the executive director for communications and marketing, or designee, will determine the site.

  3. Critical incident activation

    The incumbent in each key role identified in this policy is required to designate a backup to fill that role in the case of absence or unavailability of the incumbent.

    After taking immediate emergency action, such as calling 911 or activating an alarm, any member of the Ohio university community who becomes aware of a potential critical incident should contact the Ohio university police department. The police chief will contact the vice president for finance and administration (VPFA). The VPFA will decide whether or not to declare a critical incident. In the absence of the VPFA, the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) will be contacted to make that decision. The declaration will specify the location of the command center for this critical incident.

    Upon declaration of a critical incident, the following will occur:

    1. The Ohio university police department communication center will notify the assistant vice president, safety and risk management (AVPSRM) that a critical incident has been declared.

    2. The VPFA or VPSA will contact specific members of the president's executive staff as appropriate to the incident.

    3. The executive staff members notified in the prior step will meet to take whatever actions are deemed appropriate. They will be convened by the executive vice president and provost or by the vice president issuing the declaration.

    4. The AVPSRM will contact other members of the standing critical incident response team, or their designees, as appropriate to the incident.

    5. The AVPSRM or CIRT will contact such additional people as are needed to deal effectively with the particular incident (e.g., the vice president for research), thereby forming the augmented CIRT.

    In all of the above steps, the notification will specify the location of the command center for this critical incident. Those notified (both executive staff and members of the augmented CIRT) should report to the command center as soon as possible.

  4. Preparation

    Every member of the standing CIRT, as identified in part (B)(2) of this policy, will:

    1. Name a designee to be notified in the event that the individual member cannot be contacted. Contact information for the CIRT members and their designees will be maintained in a university automated call database and at the communication center of the Ohio university police department.

    2. Be responsible for developing, maintaining, and activating a staff emergency notification list within his or her department for the purpose of responding to a critical incident when needed.

    The standing CIRT, as a group, will prepare, and at least annually review and revise as needed, the "Ohio University Emergency Preparedness Response Plan," which will be published online, linked from the environmental hHealth and safety home page at https://www.ohio.edu/riskandsafety/ehs/.

  5. Regional campus responses

    The executive dean of the regional campuses will work with each campus dean to prepare response plans augmenting those described above. The Ohio university police department and emergency programs coordinator will serve as consultative resources.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Vice President for Finance and Administration

  2. Vice President for Student Affairs

  3. Vice President for Research

  4. General Counsel

  5. All members of the standing CIRT

  6. Vice President for University Advancement

  7. Executive Dean of the Regional Campuses