News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Katie Glass, Executive Director of Marketing
Phone: 608.822.2411
Email: kglass@swtc.edu
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: November 27, 2019

Southwest Tech simulates evacuation exercise to improve campus safety

Fennimore, Wis. -

Following a pair of close calls this fall, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College emergency response team members simulated an emergency evacuation in order to improve readiness in case of an actual incident on campus.

“Safety is a top priority at Southwest Tech and this exercise was designed to help our campus improve its response time in difficult situations,” said Emergency Response Team chair Brian Kitelinger. “Today, our students, faculty, and staff showed great improvement during our evacuation drill. Though every emergency situation is unique and has its own challenges, we believe we are getting better as we focus training on improving evacuation times.”

Two weeks ago, Southwest Tech evacuated all buildings following a natural gas leak north of campus. That incident spotlighted some areas in need of improvement related to the emergency response team’s efforts. “Today, we were much more prepared and better organized for emergency situations,” said Southwest Tech President Jason Wood. “We will work to continually improve our campus’ response to emergency situations and the overall safety of our campus. Safety protocols, training of the people who are charged with helping provide a safe environment for all who step foot on our campus and a better understanding of the campus’ roles and responsibilities in emergency situations are all areas we are focusing on.”

The evacuation exercise on Nov. 27 was designed to highlight the importance of an organized departure plan for all areas of campus. The serious and professional approach to this exercise was not lost on Timothy McNulty, the Campus Security Consultant for District Mutual Insurance. “I am extremely impressed at the very quick response the college has taken to address this.  I am sure that the outcomes will be very helpful in moving forward in a very positive and productive manner.”

Fennimore Fire Chief Robert Oeschle and a few of his officers were present the day of the drill to observe the students’ and staff’s reactions and behaviors while the drill was conducted. In addition, Oeschle’s crew observed the campus emergency response team (CERT) to gauge its work with participants in the drill, the manner and clarity of the instructions CERT members gave to participants and how quickly and orderly the evacuation effort was conducted. The college is grateful for the service of local volunteers who serve the college and the community of Fennimore.

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