April 21, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
No one wants to see tragedy strike, especially in their own community.
I hope to never see a catastrophe hit our community, but I'm confident that our state is prepared, and Idaho State University is proud to be a part of the plan.
In 2003, ISU partnered with the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security to form the Institute for Emergency Management. ISU was chosen for the partnership because of our established reputation as the leader in Idaho's health science community and our commitment to public safety.
Together, we have implemented statewide training opportunities working with outside agencies. We created Operation Roadtrip, a five-week training that provided a real-world terrorism crisis experience to help emergency personnel plan for an appropriate response.
We helped to set up initial training for the Idaho Technical Rescue Teams and the Idaho Incident Management and Support Team. We have delivered federally-mandated courses across the state to nearly 1,000 classes.
The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security recently honored the University for its work, and I commend all those in our community who are working hard to keep us safe.
At home on our campuses, we are also working to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and community. Our external and internal emergency notification systems, part of a comprehensive emergency notification plan, are state-of-the-art, and will be able to relay emergency messages to students, faculty and staff from the Stephens Performing Arts Center to the Pond Student Union. Our reverse-911 system is already in place, and can send emergency messages to all phones in Pocatello, Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls in less than an hour.
It's no surprise that we were named the fifth-safest campus in the nation last fall by the national media website The Daily Beast. The safety of our students and university community is important to us.
We have worked hard to prepare for any emergency, including natural disasters. The National Weather Service recently honored us with a StormReady designation for our readiness. To be recognized as StormReady, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have more than one way to receive severe weather forecasts and warnings and to alert the public; create a system that monitors local weather conditions; promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars; and develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes training severe weather spotters and holding emergency exercises.
At Idaho State University, we appreciate each member of our community, and work hard to make sure our environment is conducive to learning, research and sharing knowledge and skills. I appreciate our Public Safety officials and others who help keep us safe and secure every day.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University