Ferris to Conduct Test of Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System

pictureBIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University will be conducting a test of its Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22.

Capt. James M. Cook, assistant director of Public Safety at Ferris, said the test will include an audible announcement preceded by an 8-second warning siren. The announcement will state: “This is a test of the Ferris Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System. This is only a test.” A tone of “Westminster Chimes” also will be broadcast during the test.

The purpose of the test is to ensure the Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System is functioning properly, Cook said, noting the test is expected to take one hour. However, the Ferris and Big Rapids communities could hear further testing of the system up to 4 p.m. on Dec. 22.

The outdoor broadcast system was installed this fall and includes seven, 40-foot metal poles mounted with speakers placed throughout Ferris’ campus to provide maximum coverage, he said. The system gives university officials the ability to broadcast emergency messages across campus.

“The Emergency Outdoor Broadcast System provides the University another layer to its emergency planning and response during a crisis situation,” said Chief Martin J. Bledsoe, director of Public Safety.

Other procedures already in place include City Watch, which builds on existing telephone roll out capabilities to provide text and/or voice messages; “Blue Light” Phones, installed at residence halls along with electronic card readers, and placed at a variety of other campus locations; and a fifth Electronic Message Board was recently mounted on Wheeler pavilion. Plans are underway to install phones in campus classrooms. The phone system will be augmented by “pop-up” emergency text messaging on classroom computers.

12 December, 2008