Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, Ferris Department of Public Safety (DPS) and/or University Advancement & Marketing will determine the segment of the campus community to be notified, determine the content of the notification, and initiate the notification system. Additional assistance for this process may be provided by the Office of the President, President's Council and Information Technology Services.
Emergency notification of the campus community will occur if there is an imminent threat to life, health, or safety reported to Ferris DPS. The emergency notification message will be distributed through one or more of the following methods:
- Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System (tested silently daily, audible test monthly)
- FSU Emergency Text Alerts (tested the first Monday of each month)
- Voice Over Internet Protocol Phones within selected classrooms (tested annually)
- In-classroom Messaging (Novell) (tested beginning and mid semester)
- Phone Fanout (tested once per semester)
- Distributed through E-mail (University Wide Notice)
- Posted to electronic signs (tested once per semester)
- Posted to the University website homepage
- Posted to the MyFSU login page or announcements
- Ferris Information Hotline
Ferris State University will initiate the notification system, without delay, unless issuing the 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 contribution by Ferris DPS will be dependent on the size of the crisis and availability of DPS personnel.
Since Ferris Dispatch is a service dispatching center, all emergency 9-1-1 calls are taken and Ferris officers dispatched by Meceola Central Dispatch. If a reported emergency on the Ferris Big Rapids campus may also pose a threat to the larger community, Meceola Central Dispatch may, as advised, contact local emergency response agencies and may initiate Mecosta County's Emergency Notification Procedures. If needed, Ferris State University will also disseminate emergency information to the larger community through local media including the Big Rapids Pioneer newspaper, the Ferris Torch or local radio stations. An emergency message can also be disseminated through the GRAIL system.
While a timely warning may be issued in response to specific crimes, an emergency notification may be initiated in the case of an imminent threat to the life, health, or safety of students or employees occurring on campus. Ferris Public Safety will investigate such incidents to determine if the situation does, in fact, pose an imminent threat to the life, health, or safety of the campus community. Threat confirmation may also be confirmed through the Office of the President. If an emergency notification is activated, Ferris State University is not required to issue a timely warning based on the same circumstances; however, FSU will provide adequate follow-up information to the community as needed.
Emergency Notification System Testing
Ferris State University will test emergency response and evacuation procedures on at least an annual basis. Emergency notification system testing is documented by Ferris DPS. This documentation includes a description of the exercise, the test date, time, and whether the test was announced or unannounced.
The test will be an opportunity to remind the campus community about established emergency response and evacuation procedures. The university's emergency notification system was tested twice in 2009. The following is a summary of those tests.
- November 2, 2009-9:00 AM and 3:00 PM – Classroom Computer messaging, VOIP Phones, Emergency Text Alerts: announced.
- June 9, 2009: 1:00 PM-Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System
Response and evacuation procedures are publicized along with one of the annual emergency notification systems testing dates and accompany the annual crime statistics reporting. Click here to view our web page with more information on these subjects.
Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans
In addition to the emergency notification tests, the University provides information on emergency response and evacuation procedures to the campus as a whole through the Emergency Management program website, Emergency Procedures Flipchart and evacuation charts posted on each floor of all occupied buildings. The flipcharts were distributed to every department, are posted in public places, and can be viewed on the Ferris webpage (https://ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/adminandfinance/Human/Safety/FSU-FlipCharts.pdf). According to university policy, each department and unit is responsible for developing and testing their evacuation procedures. Each non-residential building has a designated Building Emergency Coordinator who is responsible for maintaining building emergency plans, educating occupants regarding these plans, and scheduling drills as appropriate.
Campus Emergency Response Plan
The University's Department of Public Safety-Emergency Management maintains and updates the campus's Emergency Response Plan which includes plans, policies and procedures on emergency notification and evacuation. The Ferris State University Emergency Response Plan is intended to provide policy, procedure, and organizational structure for response to an emergency or disaster that disrupts the functioning of all or parts of the University.