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MU sets up emergency communication to enhance security

Masaryk University has adopted new measures to provide effective tools for emergency communication, close cooperation with the police on preventive measures and to establish methods for dealing with emergencies.

At the end of last week, all employees and students of Masaryk University received an email with information about the future early warning system. They were also asked to use the university’s internal platforms – IS (students) and Inet (employees) – to update their emergency phone number to which SMS alerts will be sent in case of an emergency. More than two-thirds of students and more than 60 per cent of staff responded immediately to the email request, with more than half of those listed providing the emergency contact immediately.

Intensive cooperation with the Police of the Czech Republic is also producing concrete results. In the South Moravian Region, a joint system of measures is being developed in coordination with the rectors of all Brno-based universities and the regional police directorate. In addition to the planned training courses and the creation of a database of emergency contacts for university representatives, it also includes the dissemination of documents such as ‘intervention cards’, which contain building plans so that the police know the number of entrances to individual buildings, the number of floors and their layout. “The documents will significantly shorten the response time in case of an emergency,” said Marta Valešová, Masaryk University bursar.

The police are now preparing methodological instructions for the training, and the first practical and security training for selected groups of employees of Masaryk University and other Brno universities will begin in February this year. MU will then prepare an online course for people involved in emergency communication and, in parallel, for security staff, receptionists and gatekeepers in individual buildings.

“We have updated the list of emergency contacts for communication within the university and for individual MU faculties. This will enable the police to immediately contact representatives of the university as well as those of a specific faculty. At the same time, we are working on defining the position of the emergency manager who will coordinate communication, stay in contact with the police and actively inform responsible persons across the university,” explained Bursar Marta Valešová. The list of emergency contacts that will be part of the response team will serve as a mass communication tool for a range of scenarios. In this way, a selected group of students and employees can be immediately informed via text messages (SMS).

At the same time, Masaryk University is preparing an accessible system of psychological counselling. “If students notice a change in a classmate’s behaviour, they will know who to contact. Our aim is to address potential problems at an early stage and make the best use of the emergency management and psychological support and counselling systems already in place,” added Valešová.

Most of the measures are expected to reach their final stage of implementation by the beginning of the spring semester, i.e. by 19 February 2024.