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Carleton announces steps to improve emergency preparedness and prevent false alarms on campus. [Capital Current file photo]

Carleton announces five-point plan to help prevent future false alarms

The president of Carleton University has announced a five-point plan to ensure that the kind of false alarm of an active shooter that panicked the campus recently doesn’t happen in the future.

Carleton University’s president Benoit-Antoine Bacon said in a statement issued Monday that the error on Jan. 28 occurred after a “wrong computer key was hit” and sent out an unfinished template.

Bacon said that the incident has helped the university to understand what went wrong and how they can improve it to prepare for a real emergency.

“It was a truly unfortunate mistake and I, like everyone involved, sincerely regret the stress this error caused in our community,” Bacon said in the statement.

He said several departments at the university have been working for the past two weeks to improve the Emergency Notification System (ENS). and to devise an action plan and awareness campaign for our community. Key action items currently in progress include:

• The university is working with Mitel to ensure the ENS is fully and optimally operational. This will require tests and Bacon promised that the community will be informed beforehand.

• The school is updating the alert messages to take into account a number of situational factors, including location and what is available to you there.

• Campus Safety Services is identifying training opportunities for Carleton staff, faculty and students.

• The university is developing what it calls a comprehensive communications plan to build awareness of emergency preparedness procedures and how to better “promote and support an engaged campus community that is emergency ready.”

• Bacon is also urging Carleton community members to download the CU Mobile App where emergency procedures are posted and easily referenced.

The university says it is continuing to offer support to anyone who needs it: Students seeking counselling should come to Health and Counselling Services between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or call (613) 520-6674. For faculty and staff, the Employee and Family Assistance Program can be contacted at (613) 725-5676, or after-hours at 1 (800) 668-9920.

With files from Capital Current staff

Related story: Carleton apologizes for false “active attacker” alarm

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