Open House Highlights Features to Keep the Campus Safe

These are the people who respond to everything from a small chemical spill, to a large-scale earthquake

Paul D’Anieri, provost and executive vice chancellor (left) and Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox tour the new Environmental Health and Safety building with the help of Amanda Grey, Environmental Programs manager for EH&S, on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Carrie Rosema

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 17 marked the grand opening of the new home for Enterprise Risk Management, the group responsible for protecting the campus operation every day from fire, lab chemicals and other risks. The $21 million building is also the new home for the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC,) a very important place for managing crises, such as fires, earthquakes and floods.

The nearly 30,000 square foot building brings together UCR Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Emergency Management, and the UCOP Center of Excellence for Training & Education. A fifth unit, UC Police Department (UCPD), will continue to be housed in their current police station just down Linden Street.

Together they are known as UC Riverside Enterprise Risk Management, and they are the people who respond to everything from a small chemical spill, to a large-scale earthquake, said Lisa Martin, campus emergency manager and chair of the UC Emergency Management Council. She said the EOC can go from a training room to a fully operational command and control center in 60 minutes after a sudden crisis.

A ribbon cutting ceremony on May 17 marked the grand opening of the UC Riverside Enterprise Risk Management unit, housed in the brand new Environmental Health and Safety building off Linden Street. Carrie Rosema

A ribbon cutting ceremony on May 17, 2016 marked the grand opening of the UC Riverside Enterprise Risk Management unit, housed in the brand new Environmental Health and Safety building off Linden Street.
Carrie Rosema

The construction of this new edifice has “fostered a whole new world of how we think of ourselves,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox told an audience Tuesday morning. Wilcox thanked everyone involved in this process, from the planners to the brick layers.

Among the key players in this process was building project manager Blythe Wilson, who brought the project in on time and under budget.

Ron T. Coley, vice chancellor of Business and Administrative Services, recognized Wilson for his leadership in this 18-month construction project. Now UCR will be ready to strategically respond to any emergency, crisis or disaster, Coley said.He pointed out how fortunate UC Riverside is to have a Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor who is interested in the business operations of the campus, as well as in the academic pursuits.

Ron T. Coley embraces Paul D'Anieri at the open house for a new headquarters for campus safety. Carrie Rosema

Ron T. Coley embraces Paul D’Anieri at the open house for a new headquarters for campus safety.
Carrie Rosema

This building means a “commitment of safety and security,” said UCR Provost Paul D’Anieri. He also said he will sleep better at night knowing the campus is ready to respond quickly to an earthquake or other trauma.

The building has office space on one side of the building and a hazardous materials storage area on the other end. The offices include organized hanging maps of every space on campus, lockers for people who might have to stay overnight, communication systems that include satellite phones in case phone service goes out. In the hazardous storage area, the chemical and bulk storage rooms are designed to withstand a flammable incident, said Russell Vernon, Environmental Health and Safety director. Loading docks provide easy access for the trucks that come in to haul away materials.

The area also includes an energy efficient and environmentally friendly piece of equipment called the Priorclave. It’s a highly efficient autoclave because it operates with a cylindrical system, and it heats and cools down slowly, Vernon said. So not only is it a boon for the campus carbon footprint, but it can turn a dangerous substance less dangerous. “I can get rid of the medical waste,” Vernon said.

The open house included a vendor fair, refreshments, tours and demonstration. One display included students from the Bourns College of Engineering who have designed and will test an Explosive Chemical Removal Robot, a senior design project with expandable mechanical arms that could help dilute an unexpected chemical reaction. Engineering students Cody Gonzalez and Benjamin Schleuniger were on hand Tuesday to answer questions about the project.

Lisa Martin talks about the capabilities found in the Emergency Operations Center on campus.

Lisa Martin, campus emergency manager and chair of the UC Emergency Management Council, highlights the capabilities found in the Emergency Operations Center at the Environmental Health and Safety building on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Carrie Rosema

Staff and faculty interested in volunteering to train with the UC Riverside Enterprise Risk Management team to prepare for campus crisis such as earthquakes, may contact Lisa Martin at lisa.martin@ucr.edu. Training is expected to begin this summer.

 

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