Loyola University Launches Fire Emergencies Program

CHICAGO

Loyola University Chicago has announced the launch of its use of CommandScope Electronic Pre-Plan software by RealView, making it the first university in the U.S. to implement a fully electronic pre-plan to help lessen property damage and prevent loss of lives as a result of campus fires. With CommandScope, university personnel, firefighters and other first responders will have immediate access to accurate and critical building information at the security desk or on scene of the emergency. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that each year there are approximately 3,300 fires on U.S. college campuses.

“Loyola University wanted to be more proactive for the safety of our more than 15,000 students and staff,” said Father Michael Garanzini,president of Loyola University of Chicago. “With CommandScope, we pre-planned each of Loyola’s buildings so that firefighters and other emergency personnel will be able to immediately access vital information to reach an emergency anywhere on campus and respond effectively.”

Each of Loyola’s more than 71 buildings on both its Lakeshore Campus and Water Tower Campus has been pre-planned with CommandScope.

Although fire departments typically keep paper pre-plans of buildings in binders, plans are often outdated and incomplete and can take more than an hour to access during an emergency. With CommandScope, the electronic information is available on computers in Loyola’s security offices and on touch screen monitors throughout the campus. In an emergency, first responders will be able to retrieve updated building information within seconds, eliminating guesswork and allowing emergency personnel to be immediately attentive to specifics of the situation.

Each Loyola building listed in CommandScope contains a campus location map, photographs, floor plans, utility shutoff locations, fire hydrant locations, structural information, number of occupants, lists of disabled persons, and cautionary notes about possible hazards, such as chemistry labs. Information is simple to update and is available to the entire system within minutes, which is not only vital for firefighters, but also for other emergency personnel responding to campus security breaches and medical emergencies.

“This kind of program is crucial for all universities,” said Kimberly Nardi, Account Executive at RealView, LLC. “Campus buildings sometimes don’t have actual street addresses, and even after the fire department finds the correct building, they don’t immediately have information about the type of building, access points and possible hazards. With CommandScope, first responders can get floor plans and photos immediately, saving essential minutes that can make a difference between an emergency and a disaster.”

The NFPA reports that 3,300 structure fires occur annually in dormitories, fraternities, and sororities causing more than $25 million in damage and numerous deaths.

For additional information, click here.

RealView LLC June 2009 press release.

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