The Committee continued its study of safety and security issues in light of 9/11 by inviting Chief of Fire and Emergency Services, Joseph Zuccarello and Deputy Chief, University Police, Thomas Giordano as speakers.
Deputy Chief Giordano addressed bomb threats. 90% of bomb threats are hoaxes. He distributed an excellent handout designed specifically for libraries as a guide to develop a plan to prepare for such incidents. Parking lots should not be designated as evacuation locations because there could be a possibility that a device may be planted in the lot. Front of buildings are also not advisable as evacuation locations because of flying glass and debris coming from the building. Be aware that often a secondary device is set to go off while the investigation is going on. Take your valuables, e.g., briefcases, bags, etc., with you when you leave the building as that will facilitate the search through the building by the bomb squad. If possible, leave doors and windows open in the building, when exiting. Turn radios off. It is important we designate a command center with a floor plan and staff schedule to aid in the search of the building and exterior of the building. Any suspicious packages, letters, bomb threat calls should be reported immediately, do not handle, call 911 from an outside line (6-911 is no longer designated as many campus phones have different numbers to dial for an outside line).
Chief Zuccarello addressed anthrax. There have been 44 incidents and none have involved anthrax. Emergency services, REHS, and the police are working closely together in a closely coordinated and joint effort to handle any incidents. Again, as stated above, call 911 and absolutely do not hesitate to call if you are suspicious about a letter or a package as every call is treated seriously and will be investigated. Procedures have been set up to handle depending on whether people have been exposed or not exposed to substance. If a letter is suspicious, the best protection is to immediately wash your hands, close off the office, and document which staff were in the area. Anthrax powder may also be brown or amber in color. If a powder is released, don't clean up, relocate exposed people to a nearby office. If no personnel are exposed to substance, cover the envelope or package (such as a trash can) and do not remove covering. Because ventilation systems vary, it will be determined whether to turn off the system. The Chief also discussed fire emergencies and the importance of employees knowing where exits are in the building and to exit at the closest exit which may not be the one usually exited. Fire alarms are located by the exits. He indicated that staff members are not expected to use fire extinguishers.
Other committee business: Inta Sams and Bernice Weinberg are exploring CPR training for RUL employees and Chief Zuccarello provided the contact person in his department who coordinates CPR training. Kristen St. John and Jazmine Faherty are making good progress in updating the emergency manuals and in response to their questions about placing our emergency manuals online were advised by both speakers that the current trend of thought is not to make this information public.
If you go to the Rutgers home page for faculty and staff http://www.rutgers.edu/faculty-staff.shtml there is a section "Health and Safety which will take you to information for REHS, Emergency Services and the Police Department. At http://publicsafety.rutgers.edu/cissafety/safetyinfo.html you will find links to the CDC, and other important agencies for updates on safety and security news.
The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for January 17, 2002
Chair, RUL Health & Safety Committee