Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation

Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction

Elgin Community College (ECC) in Elgin today was recognized by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for achieving the Ready to Respond Campus designation after completing the program’s rigorous campus safety criteria.

The Ready to Respond Campus program aims to enhance campus safety through a comprehensive, community-based preparedness and response effort, including public safety, campus administration, faculty and students.  The initiative was launched statewide in 2014 following a pilot program in 2013. Participation in the program is voluntary and open to all institutions of higher education in Illinois.

Elgin Community College is the first campus to receive the designation that was not involved in the pilot program.

“The recent tragedy at a community college in Oregon highlights the need for campuses to be prepared to respond to all types of threats and hazards,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “All campuses have emergency response plans. Ready to Respond Campuses take preparedness and response to a higher level with rigorous criteria that must be met. I applaud Elgin Community College officials for tackling these challenging standards and becoming only the fifth campus in Illinois to achieve this enhanced level of campus safety.”

Joseph said the Ready to Respond Campus logo tells current and potential students and their parents that safety is a top priority at the college. ECC can now use the logo on official correspondence, websites, brochures and other media. The designation is valid for three years, at which time ECC officials can submit updated documentation in order to renew its status.

“Campus safety and preparedness is a top priority at ECC. We are proud to partner with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and to be recognized as a Ready to Respond campus,” said Dr. David Sam, ECC president
To achieve Ready to Respond Campus status, a college or university must meet criteria that address hazard identification, risk assessment and/or consequence analysis, operational planning, incident management, training and exercise. In addition, the campus must develop and maintain a violence prevention plan and implement a campus outreach and education campaign.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Richland Community College, Parkland College and Augustana College also have received the Ready to Respond Campus designation. Joseph said several other campuses currently are working toward the designation.

The Ready to Respond Campus program is the latest component of Illinois’ Ready to Respond effort. Additional information about the IEMA Ready to Respond program is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.