Be safe by being prepared

America Rodriguez, Guest Columnist

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How safe do you feel on campus? As Los Medanos College gets upgrades, like the new Police Office at our Pittsburg Campus, I have recently noticed that campus security has been more visible. The new headquarters is in an ideal location as it faces the front of the campus, which is the most trafficked area on campus and is easily accessible. 

Even though incidents still seem to occur, they are being addressed quickly and effectively. I signed up for Emergency Alerts on the LMC website to receive notifications, they are usually a test but at least it’s proactive. With the new Wi-Fi that we have on campus, I am finally able to get those alerts while at school. I have also noticed classes are now equipped with evacuation posters and emergency buttons that contact Campus Security directly. 

These new assets that have been added this past year I find very comforting which allows me to focus on my studies a lot more. Although, I would like to challenge Campus Safety and ask if our staff and professors are properly prepared for emergencies? Do they know CPR, or have access to Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED) and other First Aid items? Do they actively report any red flag situations with any students or staff? 

  Being overly prepared is better than not being prepared at all. I would love to see the alert system evolve for students. In which they have access to report anonymously on alarming behaviors and incidents on campus via text rather than calling campus security. I want to see Campus Safety perform active shooter drills and suspicious behavior training to allow students to get information on what to do if they encounter dangerous scenarios. 

  By having these basic emergency preparedness procedures readily available allows students and staff to focus more on education. Let’s take what has happened at other campus locations and learn from them by posting more safety tips in the parking lots that display information on what to do if you get out of class late. Post distraction posters to remind students not to be distracted by technology while going to class or leaving campus. All these small things make a huge difference. 

  Take a look at the LMC website and search for campus safety, you will have access to current information such as action plans: evacuation points for all campuses, current crime awareness reports, safety tips, and a link to sign up for text and email alerts. 

You can also find the information through the safety committee and their plans that are talked about by reading this information online and it gives me some sort of peace. 

As a result, I am now fully aware of where my emergency evacuation routes are. I can locate an AED, and know what to do in case of an active shooter. I also know the numbers to call if I need help or need to report an incident. 

  Having this beneficial information on these resources can save your life. We tend to take these things for granted, with so much technology available we do everything but plan our own safety. I hope that in the near future some of our students develop apps that can help our campuses be safer.