DePaul University Emergency Plan > Emergency Plan Information > Basic Plan Overview > 1.3 Concept of Operations

1.3 Concept of Operations

By virtue of this Campus Emergency Operations Plan, the University intends to prepare for and adequately respond to any campus emergency. This Plan will be activated once a level 3 emergency has been declared. The Campus Emergency Operations Plan will then be utilized as a decision-making tool and general framework for intelligence collection, information dissemination and a programmed response.

All University emergency operations will be implemented and conducted in accordance with the concepts and procedures recognized by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) model and the Incident Command System (ICS).

NIMS defines several important roles including, but not limited to:

Incident Commander (IC): The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and the release of resources. The IC has overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site. Depending on the situation, law enforcement may establish their own on-site IC.  DePaul’s IC will coordinate and comply with all directives.  DePaul Command Staff and General Staff report directly to the DePaul Incident Commander. These positions are established to assign responsibility for key activities. The DePaul Incident Commander and Command Staff operate out of one or more Emergency Operations Centers (EOC).​

Public Information Officer: The Public Information Officer communicates up-to-date and accurate information on the status of the situation to the university community, media, general public, and key agencies.

Liaison Officer(s): The liaison officer(s) are the point(s) of contact for government representatives, nongovernment, and private entities.

Safety Officer: The safety officer monitors and evaluates all incident operations for hazards and unsafe conditions, including the health and safety of emergency responder personnel.

Additional Incident Command Staff: Based on the nature of the emergency, university personnel may be called to operate out of the EOC and report to the Incident Commander.

Since the University’s Public Safety Office is staffed 24 hours per day, the first officer upon the scene of such an emergency has initial responsibility as Incident Commander and will promptly contact the Director of Public Safety or the VP for Facility Operations. The Director of Public Safety or the VP for Facility Operations shall immediately notify the Executive Emergency Response Team (EERT), in order to initiate this Campus Emergency Operations Plan. Until such time as the Director of Public Safety or the Vice President for Facility Operations of the University can be contacted, or the Public Safety on-duty supervisor is otherwise relieved by higher authority or local authorities, the on-duty supervisor will direct all available University resources to provide priority protection for life, safety and preservation of property.  

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be managed by the Incident Commander (or his designee if the Incident Commander is on the scene of the emergency) and will coordinate with the University’s EERT.  

The University’s Public Information Officer is the Vice President for Public Relations and Communications.  The Public Information Officer will coordinate with the Executive Emergency Response Team, Incident Commander, and external media outlets to ensure accurate and timely dissemination of information.  As necessary, the Public Information Officer will coordinate with local authorities, federal agencies, and technical specialists, e.g., the National Weather Service or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to provide information imperative to resolving a campus emergency.  

It is the policy of the University to involve local authorities when it is determined that a particular campus emergency exceeds the capabilities of University personnel. The University will, therefore, seek the assistance of the City of Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago Fire Department and other local agencies on an as needed basis. The University will then coordinate with such local agencies and comply with their directives.

The Campus Emergency Operations Plan contains various Functional Annexes and Situational Protocols that assign responsibilities for specific emergency functions and delineate procedures to combat known potential dangers. These Functional Annexes and Situational Protocols contain summary reference and/or guidance to the University Community, with detailed procedural documents, university policies, and/or university websites cited as reference. These detailed procedural documents, policies, and websites are continually maintained and updated by their respective organization owners and will be utilized as guides in emergency response.

The Annexes and Protocols along with this Campus Emergency Operations Plan will be continually reviewed and revised to achieve an optimal emergency response.