NIC beefs up its emergency alert systems

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COEUR d'ALENE — North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene beefed up its emergency alert systems in the months following the implementation of a piece of legislation that allows Idaho residents with an enhanced concealed carry permit to carry firearms on higher-education campuses.

“North Idaho College believes the safety and security of our students, employees, and visitors is of the utmost importance,” said Stacy Hudson, NIC Communications and Marketing Director. “Administrators place emphasis on training and tools to ensure that our campus is prepared for a wide variety of emergency situations.”

Hudson’s office, she added, is involved with a regional network of public information officers known as the North Idaho Public Information Network. It also maintains and regularly practices the college’s crisis response plan.

The plan, according to Hudson, includes a system called Cardinal Contact, which sends emergency alerts to NIC students and employees via text message, email and voicemail in the event of an emergency, lockdown, or evacuation. Cardinal Contact is also available to non-NIC students or employees that wish to sign up.

“In addition, NIC completed the installation of 16 Alertus beacons, which are installed across campus and signal an emergency alarm that flash lights and emergency messages when triggered,” Hudson added. “The Alertus system also takes over the screens of all networked computers on campus in classrooms, labs and all computers using NIC WiFi.”

NIC also implements a campus-wide emergency drill once per semester at its main campus, and at its outreach locations across Idaho’s five northern counties.

Hudson said that students and faculty members who attended a gathering at the beginning of this semester also completed a training video to complement the “Run, Hide, Fight” model for active shooter training, which has been recommended by the Office of Homeland Security.

For more information on these resources, and other resources on campus, visit www.nic.edu/security and www.nic.edu/emergency.

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