3. Response To An Emergency

Reporting an Emergency

When an emergency occurs, or is imminent, the YSU Police Department must be contacted as soon as possible. This single point of contact facilitates all types of emergency response for all types of emergencies. The Contact number for YSU Police 24 hour Dispatch is:

YSU POLICE DISPATCH: 330-941-3527 or 3527 from a campus extension.

  • Dialing 911 from a campus extension will connect you with the YSU Police.
  • Dialing 911 from a cell phone will connect you with The City of Youngstown’s Dispatch Center. Advise them you are on the YSU Campus.

A person reporting an emergency can anticipate being asked for details about the incident they may or may not have as well as personal identification information such as full name, address, etc.  Also, the caller may be asked to hold for a brief period while the dispatcher advises officers of the situation, dispatches them to the scene, and updates them with information as the caller provides it.

Activating the Campus Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)/Emergency Declaration

The President of Youngstown State University has the authority to declare an emergency for campus and to activate the CEMP. In their absence, the next university executive officer in line of succession has the authority to declare an emergency and activate the CEMP.

The Chief of YSU Police and their designees, in the event of any emergency, have the authority without an emergency declaration, without activation of the CEMP or without prior Executive Officer approval to;

  • Notify the University community of an emergency through the available emergency communication resources.
  • Respond to any situation and take all measures to protect human life and university property.
  • Authorize Campus Evacuations, Shelter in Places, and Lockdowns
  • Request and utilize outside public safety resources.

Merely qualifying an event as an “emergency” does not provide sufficient cause to warrant a declaration of emergency or the activation of the CEMP. Other factors are considered before a decision of whether or not to activate the response plan is made. A serious automobile accident or a person in cardiac arrest would certainly qualify as emergencies but not require activation.  Similarly, a technological emergency or power outage may require employing only a particular element of the plan, such as emergency notification and or cancellation of classes.

The CLERY Act provides the following examples of significant emergencies or dangerous situations: fire, outbreak of a serious illness, earthquake, gas leak, terrorist incident, armed intruder, bomb threat, civil unrest or rioting, explosion, nearby chemical or hazardous waste spill.

University Executive Officer Response 

The decision making activities of the University during an emergency shall rest with the President and the following University Executive Officers;

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • VP of Finance
  • VP of Legal Affairs/Human Resources
  • VP Student Affairs
  • AVP University Relations
  • AVP University Facilities

Any emergency decisions relating to the campus will be made by the President or their designate. In the event of an incapacity or absence of the University President, decision making authority shall default to the University Succession of Authority beginning with the Provost.

The University Executive Officers will assemble in Tod Hall, the YSU Police Department, or via phone if needed in the event of a declared emergency. The YSU Police Department will provide as much information as possible during the emergency to aid in the decision making effort.

The University President may convene a cabinet meeting after the onset of an emergency at which time attendees are thoroughly briefed on the status of the emergency. Divisional responsibilities as they relate to the emergency as well as urgent matters requiring immediate attention are discussed.

Implementation of Department Level Plans

Department Plans are implemented at the direction of the Deans, Chairpersons or Directors. Information from direct observation, campus advisories, mass email and other sources are used in this decision. The nature and scope of an emergency and its effects on the campus population, or portion thereof, will help in determining the departments needed for support functions during an emergency

Crisis Communications Plan 

The Youngstown State University Crisis Communications Plan provides procedures for the coordination of communications both internally and externally in the event of a crisis situation. The plan outlines the roles, responsibilities and protocols to guide the university in sharing information with all of YSU’s audiences during an emergency or crisis.

This plan is not intended to change the manner in which emergencies are initially reported. All emergencies on campus should be reported immediately to YSU Police.

(See Appendix A for the Crisis Communication Plan)

Campus Security Act (“Clery Act”) Notification

Title 20, Chapter 28, Section 1092(F) of the United States Code requires universities and colleges to make timely notification to students and employees concerning violent crime which presents an ongoing threat to the university community. In addition to the emergency notification media identified above, additional media may be used for Campus Security Act Notification.  These may include the posting of informational fliers, posting of composite sketches (wanted posters), a news media press conference, as well as other means deemed appropriate.

The University notifies students, faculty, staff and the public concerning all major emergencies, as well as other conditions, that present a potential threat to the public.  This notification is communicated through various media and is made as soon as sufficient reliable information becomes available.

The purpose of notification is two-fold. The first is to quickly notify persons of threatening conditions so that they may make informed decisions concerning their safety and the safety of others. The second is to communicate specific instructions, or suggestions, to assist them in responding to the threat.  It is recognized that in order to avoid any unnecessary delay, initial information concerning the threat may be incomplete or, at times, erroneous. The University strives to ensure that emergency notification is made responsibly and accurately, however, notification will not be delayed on this account.