Implementing a Successful University Evacuation Plan

Emergencies of all kinds can occur on university campuses. Power outages, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and school shootings are just a few of the ways safety can be compromised. In some cases, evacuation may be necessary. Because of the sheer size of college campuses, it can be extremely difficult to coordinate an emergency escape plan without chaos ensuing. The Clery Act, however, requires that schools of higher learning provide a timely warning in emergency situations.[1] That’s why it is important to have a detailed and reliable emergency evacuation plan in place.

Unfortunately, it is often easy to overlook potential hazards. One of the most significant oversights in emergency planning is properly implementing the evacuation of non-ambulatory individuals. Cases in which an injured person becomes immobile can be addressed with a lifesaving device, such as the Evacuation Slyde by Belluscura™. Our rescue sled is an effective way to safely transport these individuals during an emergency situation.

Using Slyde in a University Evacuation

Crafted from lightweight, durable corrugated polypropylene, each Slyde is designed to quickly and safely move non-ambulatory individuals down stairs, over rough surfaces, and across uneven terrain. Because Slydes are foldable and stackable, they can be conveniently stored near other lifesaving equipment for easy access.

Slyde can be assembled quickly by referencing the detailed instructions that are printed directly on every sled. After securing the victim with buckle restraints, the sled can easily be pulled by the lead strap at the front of the sled. The Slyde has strong web handles that provide multi-point control for two to seven carriers, offering effortless maneuverability.

Our standard Slyde can transport patients up to 500 pounds, and the Bariatric Slyde can accommodate individuals up to 800 pounds. Because our evacuation sleds are resilient, they can even transport other lifesaving devices along with the victim, such as heart monitors and first aid equipment.

University Emergency Lawsuits

There have been claims filed against schools that did not provide adequate rescue protocol for disabled or immobile individuals. As Adrien A. Weibgen explains in the Yale Law Journal, in Gustafson v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., No. C-97-4016 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 24, 2004), disabled students at the University of Berkeley filed a civil class action lawsuit against the school that challenged on-campus physical access barriers. As part of the settlement, the University agreed to adopt a number of building evacuation measures for persons with disabilities.[2]

Universities can provide safe rescue for disable persons and avoid lawsuits by investing in a medical solution like the Evacuation Slyde. This simple piece of equipment can mean the difference between life and death.

Implement an Emergency Response Team

To be effective, emergency preparedness must begin long before an emergency situation arises. One of the most important things you can include in your planning is an emergency response team. These individuals will be responsible for overseeing a safe evacuation. On a university campus, it is a good idea to implement a crisis response team for each building. Team members can include[3]:

  • Point of Contact: This person should determine when an evacuation is required, and perform all necessary communication with emergency services.
  • Coordinator: Once an evacuation is in effect, the coordinator should secure the premises, and check all rooms for people left behind.
  • Head Counter: This person should be stationed outside to make sure all persons are accounted for.
  • First Aid and Medical Attention: Multiple members of the staff should be trained in basic first aid and evacuation procedures. The people on this team would be responsible for assembling and implementing use of Slyde for any immobile, non-ambulatory individuals.

Provide Proper Training and Practice Evacuation Exercises

Every student, professor, and faculty member should be aware of the university’s emergency evacuation plan, and should know the quickest escape route. Those on your emergency response team should be trained in evacuation protocol, especially those who will be assisting in the transport of injured individuals.

Slyde is easy to use, even in the most stressful situations. However, it is important to perform frequent evacuation drills to ensure everyone is prepared when the unexpected happens.

Learn More about the Evacuation Slyde

Slyde can help you provide rescue and emergency evacuation for disabled or immobile individuals at a university. To learn more about how a medical sled can offer peace of mind, visit our online resource center.

[1] https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/university/clery-act-has-prompted-positive-changes-in-campus-public-safety/

[2] https://www.yalelawjournal.org/note/the-right-to-be-rescued

[3] https://safetymanagement.eku.edu/resources/articles/the-importance-of-having-an-evacuation-plan/