Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management, AUB
 
Emergency Response Team 

1.  Emergency Response Procedures

 

2. About us

Prior to 2000, AUB had no organized way to respond to emergencies, nor any trained staff who could handle them. It was alarming to think that considering traffic patterns around the area during the day, it could take city emergency response personnel some 15-minute time or more to reach the university.

In light of this, the University decided to establish, equip and train its own Emergency Response Team (ERT) to deal with all the emergencies; pending the arrival of Beirut / Lebanese emergency response team /Lebanese Fire Brigade.

This team was established around July 2000, and it comprised individuals from various departments in the hospital and the campus, and reported to the Director of EHSRM at that time.

The team was trained by a variety of professionals according to a pre-set program supervised by EHSRM. They were trained by the Lebanese Red Cross in First Aid and CPR. The Director of EHSRM and other professional members of the unit gave training on how to handle the hazardous materials emergencies, as well as the fire fighting. The team still also receives periodical training to ensure they remain ready at all times.

ERT is equipped with modern state-of-the-art Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and has a new air compressor to fill SCBA tanks. An array of protective and fire fighting clothing and equipment is at hand as well as supplies to detect, measure, contain and collect releases and spills of hazardous materials.

At present the team is able to provide first and basic response to fires, releases of hazardous and toxic materials such as chemical, biological and radioactive spills, and the provision of basic rescue services.

ERT works closely with AUB Protection Office, Physical Plant Department, Plant Engineering Department, and other departments in responding to emergencies. Emergency drills are scheduled to practice and coordinate emergency response with local agencies in Beirut and Lebanon.

So far the team has effectively responded to, and dealt with, many emergencies. These took place at the hospital and the campus and included fires, chemical spills, gas releases and two cases of envelopes containing white powders that were suspected of being anthrax.

The team also offers training sessions to other emergency response agencies in the areas that relate to hazardous materials response and emergency management.

In January 2002, former AUB President John Waterbury, who was the teams commander-in-chief, distributed badges to the team members and he emphasized on the importance of their role, saying that the badges are a symbol of their belonging to this Elite group that provides essential life and property-saving services to the University around the clock.

The team is managed and reports to the Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM) Department and can be reached by either calling EHSRM office at Ext: 2360 (during working hours), or the Protection Office at Ext: 2400 for general emergencies (at all times), or by calling Ext: 5555 for fire emergencies.

 
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