Loyola University Maryland

Public Safety

Emergency Response and Communication

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Loyola University DPS will take all steps necessary to isolate and mitigate any emergency or dangerous situation that may affect the campus community. The Comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP) is designed to provide Loyola University Maryland with guidelines to ensure a timely, effective, efficient, coordinated and safe response to emergencies or disasters that affect the campus, its operations, or population. Response operations are intended to resolve a situation while minimizing casualties and property damage. Response activities include: warnings, emergency medical services, firefighting, law enforcement operations, evacuation, shelter and mass care, search and rescue, as well as other associated functions.

Loyola University Maryland draws upon a nationally recognized standard of the Incident Command System (ICS) developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This system is widely used at the federal, state, and local levels as well as the University level.  This system lends consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness to the manner in which the University shall respond to an immediate emergency and/or a situation which may require the evacuation of all or part of Loyola’s campuses.

When buildings are ordered to be evacuated it is University policy that all faculty, staff and students exit the building to the pre-designated rally points at the direction of DPS or Student Life members.  These procedures are delineated in General Campus Evacuation Guide which can be found on Loyola’s emergency preparedness webpage.  This guide and additional fire safety information is distributed to all faculty, administrators, and staff on campus annually.

It is the policy of DPS, that the campus community will immediately be notified upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus. The Director of Public Safety will send a Greyhound Alert will be sent to the community.  All students and staff members are provided with a Loyola University Maryland email account at the start of employment or their academic process.  The Greyhound Alert System is an opt-out system which updates daily with student and employee contact information. Campus community members can update their Greyhound Alerts profile through the Inside Loyola portal. Students can add parents/guardian contact information through their account portal. Students are strongly encouraged to stay registered within the system.

All emergencies that are reported to the Public Safety Dispatch Center by calling 410-617-5911 will be dispatched to an officer who will respond to the location.  DPS officers as well as the officer in charge and shift commander will make early assessments to determine the size and scope of the emergency.

Ultimate authority to declare a campus state of emergency rests with the University Vice President & Special Assistant to the President or his/her designee. The Director of Public Safety shall immediately consult with the Vice President & Special Assistant to the President or his/her designee regarding the emergency and determine whether or not a campus wide state of emergency exists. During the period of any major campus emergency, Campus Police will immediately put into effect the appropriate procedures necessary in order to meet the emergency, safeguard people and property, and maintain educational facilities, as outlined in the University’s Emergency Management Plan.

Emergency Notification

Loyola University Maryland’s crisis communications plan establishes procedures for the timely release of information during an emergency of any scale. The strategies outlined in this plan focus on four prevailing objectives for the communications component of Loyola’s crisis response: speed, accuracy, consistency, and transparency.

Communications during a crisis must empower members of the Loyola community to make informed decisions that will mitigate risks to their health and safety, their environment, and their property, along with Loyola’s environment and property. In addition, communications are central to university efforts to maintain or regain credibility among stakeholders and the public.

The crisis communications plan was produced by Loyola’s office of marketing and communications (MarComm) as an annex to the university’s emergency operations plan.

Although it is possible to send notification to particular segments of the community, DPS procedure is to send notifications to all segments of the population.

Loyola University will, immediately, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. The dissemination of emergency information to the larger community is a collaborative effort between the Associate Vice President for External Affairs, Director of Public Safety and a representative of Media Relations and Social Media. The University will alert local law enforcement. Baltimore City Police will use the city’s Communicator system to alert specific neighborhoods affected via mass phone notifications.

Public Safety has the authority to unilaterally create and send an initial message including subsequent follow-up messages for incidents that pose an imminent threat to the health and safety of the Loyola community. For message approval in all other incidents and/or once the crisis communications plan is activated, the associate director of media relations and the emergency operations team must do the following as outline in the university’s emergency operations plan:

  • Determine what messages need to be approved.
  • Determine who needs to review/approve messages

After the initial immediate threat alerts have been disseminated additional information will be updated as the situation develops.  We anticipate a series of follow-up messages will be issued as the situation evolves and as additional information becomes available. The chair of the emergency operations team/incident commander and the associate director of media relations determine when the crisis communications plan is deactivated. Deactivation occurs after the final core incident information message is disseminated. We are not required to issue a timely warning based on the same incident, however we will provide adequate follow-up information to the community as needed. 

The Greyhound Alerts System is tested every first Monday of the month at 1:00pm. This test, exercises each standalone system and is evaluated to see if they will be able to perform their intended functions when needed.  DPS alerts the Loyola community of these monthly tests via the University’s online news/events publication “Loyola Today” which is distributed to all members Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer months.

Building evacuation drills are conducted and documented throughout the calendar year.  After action reviews were also documented in order to train, educate, and improve upon evacuation times with DPS and Student Life staff.

These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency response plans and capabilities of the institution.  These tests may be announced or unannounced.  General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures is publicized each year as part of the University’s emergency preparedness efforts and is available on the Loyola University’s Department of Public Safety website: http://www.loyola.edu/department/public-safety as well as the Department of Environmental Health & Safety website: https://www.loyola.edu/department/environmental-health-safety

Local Police Departments

If a Loyola student is involved in a criminal incident, DPS officers may assist with the investigation in cooperation with the Local Police Departments. BPD routinely works and communicates with DPS departmental personnel on any serious incident(s) occurring on campus or in the immediate neighborhoods or business areas surrounding the Evergreen and Belvedere campuses. University officials will adjudicate information provided by local police agencies regarding criminal incidents committed by a Loyola student at an off campus location.  Loyola University does not currently recognize any non - campus student organizations. However, many students live in the neighborhoods surrounding Loyola. While BPD has primary jurisdiction in these areas, DPS can and does respond in an administrative capacity to student related incidents which occur in close proximity to campus. Baltimore City PD responds to any 911 emergency calls for service.

Howard County and Baltimore County Police Departments routinely work and communicate with DPS departmental personnel on any serious incident(s) occurring on campus or in the immediate neighborhoods or business areas surrounding the Graduate Center campuses. All 911 emergency calls for service made from these campuses are forwarded to the appropriate county.

If a Loyola student studying abroad at Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven Belgium is involved in a criminal incident, Leuven police are the jurisdictional police authority and answer emergency calls made to 112. Loyola in Leuven is a single semester or full year program. The resident faculty director for the program provides administrative support, guidance and public safety advice to students participating in this program.

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