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Emergency Management Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the structures and processes in place for the management of emergencies and critical incidents at Charles Sturt University (the University).

(2) The Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) provides strategic planning and policy formulation for emergency and critical incident management activities relating to staff, students, visitors and premises under the control of the University.


(3) This Policy is applicable to all University premises, but is based on Australian legislation. As such, amendments to accommodate off shore sites will be allowed for as applicable to meet local country legislative requirements.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. University Premises - includes any land which is owned, controlled, managed or occupied by the University together with any building, construction or facility of any kind (whether permanent or temporary) on that land and also includes any other building, construction or facility which is under the control or management of, or which is occupied by the University;
  2. A Critical Incident - means any incident which may put the University community or any part of that community, under major stress and which requires a considered, coordinated and timely response from the University to prevent the situation from significantly worsening and to minimise future adverse ramifications. Critical incidents may be physical, such as major fires or chemical incidents, or they may be less tangible such as a political issue with potential to significantly damage the University's reputation;
  3. Critical Incident Response Groups (CIRG) - are groups created on University premises by the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) to plan and organise responses to critical Incidents in accordance with the Critical Incident Response Group Procedure;
  4. Emergency - means a sudden, unexpected event that requires an immediate response from internal and external emergency services. Emergency management is the development of effective incident response systems focused on controlling the event;
  5. Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) - means a person or persons appointed by the EPC to direct and control the implementation of the facilities emergency response procedures;
  6. Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) - persons responsible for the documentation and maintenance of the emergency plan including the establishment and maintenance of the University's ECO's and CIRG's. The EPC is established under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor;
  7. Site Emergency Procedures - a manual of the established University procedures for the appointment and the roles of ECO personnel, training, reporting structure and the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency; and
  8. Site Emergency Plan - is a plan developed from the Site Emergency Procedures manual identifying the ECO personnel and plan to follow in the event of an emergency situation for a specific building or place.
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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - Responsibilities

(5) In accordance with Delegation DFM8 (as specified in Schedule 17 — Facilities Management Delegations), the Director, Operational Services (in his/her capacity as the Chair, Emergency Planning Committee) has been granted authority by the University Council (Council) to:

  1. establish a method and implement a response to emergencies and critical incidents;
  2. report on critical incidents; and
  3. approve, respond and implement emergency preparedness and responsiveness plans.

(6) The EPC shall be responsible to the Executive Director, Division of Facilities Management for the establishment of both the ECO and CIRG's, the efficient functioning of these bodies and the oversight of both emergency and critical incident management within the University.

(7) Senior managers of each organisational unit within the University shall ensure that all staff and others under their control are covered by a current and practiced Site Emergency Plan.

(8) The ECO is responsible for managing the initial response to an Emergency, particularly evacuations if required or administration of first aid, until other support arrives. This support can include the University security personnel and external emergency services, such as NSW Police, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance Service or the State Emergency Services.

(9) The CIRG is accountable to the EPC for formulating and implementing specific critical incident management plans (as determined by their risk management processes, on each campus or nominated University premises to established standards that will enable a coordinated response to critical incidents.

(10) The Manager, Work Health and Safety (Facilities) shall provide the EPC with ECO status reports on a regular basis.

Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)

(11) Under the authority of this Policy the EPC is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring emergency preparedness for the University.

(12) Responsibilities include:

  1. develop and implement an emergency plan;
  2. ensure that personnel are appointed to all positions in the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO);
  3. coordinate activities with the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG);
  4. arrange for training of ECO and CIRG personnel;
  5. arrange for the conduct of Evacuation and CIRG exercises;
  6. review the effectiveness of Evacuation and CIRG exercises; and
  7. develop and implement improvements to procedures where necessary.

(13) As part of its charter, the EPC will also oversee, distribute and amend as required, the Site Emergency Procedures, Site Emergency Plan and the Critical Incident Response Group Procedures.

Part B - Authority and indemnity

(14) During an emergency or emergency exercise, pending the arrival of the emergency services, ECO personnel shall have absolute authority to issue instructions to evacuate and direct all persons from buildings and / or other areas of the University's Premises.

(15) ECO personnel have the benefit of an indemnity from the University against civil liability resulting from things done, or omitted to be done, when carrying out their duties as ECO personnel, for example, actions taken in an emergency evacuation of a building, provided those personnel act in good faith and in the course of carrying out their emergency control duties.

Part C - Breach of discipline or Code of conduct

(16) Staff or students who refuse to comply with the reasonable directions of ECO personnel in the conduct of their duties, during emergencies or emergency exercises, shall be deemed to have committed a breach of discipline or misconduct under the relevant University policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(17) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(18) Nil.