ISU Headlines

Idaho State University exterior emergency notification system in place; to be tested Oct. 22

Posted October 21, 2009

The Idaho State University Department of Public Safety will test its new exterior emergency notification system, which is the latest component of ISU’s emergency notification system to become operational.

The test will occur at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, and will last approximately five seconds at the ISU Pocatello campus and at ISU-Idaho Falls. This test will be an alarm, but the intercom system has the ability to broadcast verbal instructions from emergency personnel.

“Our emergency notification system is just one more way we’re trying to make Idaho State University as safe as possible for all students, faculty and staff, and any visitors, during an emergency,” said Rod Jackson, ISU emergency notification coordinator.

ISU’s safety efforts are paying off, as evidenced by Idaho State University being listed as the fifth-safest campus in the nation by the national media website The Daily Beast (www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-24/the-top-25-safest-colleges/full/).

The exterior system – which compliments the reverse 911 calling system that is already operational and the interior intercom system yet to come – is in place on the Pocatello campus and at ISU-Idaho Falls. Speaker towers are located on top of the Pharmacy Building (Leonard Hall), Eli M. Oboler Library and Gale Life Science Building (biological sciences) in Pocatello. There is a also a system located in the Ridge Crest complex on top of a pole at Bartz Field to get the maximum audible distance for the residents living there as well as to the Stephens Performing Arts Center. In Idaho Falls the exterior speakers are located on top of the Bennion Student Union Building.

“We can use the emergency system in case of a weather-related emergency or if there is a fire in any of our buildings,” Jackson said. “And, because of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy and the threat of active shooter alerts, we can use the system if there is ever a lockdown in process.”

The university’s reverse 911 call system is already operational through the approximately 5,000 ISU phones in use on the Pocatello campus, ISU-Idaho Falls, ISU-Twin Falls and ISU-Meridian Health Science Center. If an emergency occurs the system can be used to send messages to all these phones in less than an hour.

The final component of ISU’s emergency notification system will be the interior intercom system that will be installed eventually at all major buildings in Pocatello and Idaho Falls, and is already in place in ISU-Meridian.  The installation of the internal system will likely begin within the next 30 days and it should largely be up and running in Pocatello by next fall.