Critical Incidents

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Critical Incidents: Critical incidents may include threats or acts of violence, major demonstrations or riots, floods, major fires, tornadoes, airplane crashes or train derailments, major chemical spills, hostage situations, sniper activity, building collapse or explosion, bomb threats, deadly disease and food contamination occurring within the university community.
Personal Threat Assistance: The Threat Assessment Team, using a standard approach, assists the Department of Public Safety in assessing the threat potential of individuals exhibiting threatening behavior. They provide consultation to university departments and units in regard to dealing with threatening behavior.

A critical incident response team (CIRT) is an administrative vehicle to ensure cooperation across various administrative domains of the university and focuses on preventing unsafe situations from occurring whenever possible. College campuses in the U.S. and Canada have developed Critical Incident Response/Threat Assessment Teams to identify and address possible acts of violence or other critical incidents before they occur. This is more effective on a personal and financial level than just reacting after the fact. In the fall of 1995, the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was initiated at Iowa State University. The purpose of CIRT was to integrate Iowa State University services, such as Public Safety, Student Counseling Services, University Relations, Human Resource Services, Student Affairs, Environmental Health and Safety, Legal Services and Academic Affairs, into a functional unit providing more timely, comprehensive and accessible support services during a wide variety of critical incidents.

What Does CIRT Do At ISU?

CIRT’s activities include:

  1. Developing guidelines through regular meetings and addressing situations as they arise.
  2. Providing post-trauma counseling to employees involved.
  3. Making recommendations on workplace design including escape routes and safer setups between clients and service providers.
  4. Providing a threat assessment team to students, faculty, staff and visitors who feel threatened or in an unsafe situation.

What should I do if I feel threatened or in an unsafe situation? Iowa State University is prepared to address a variety of incidents. Call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to initiate the appropriate response to an unsafe situation you may be experiencing—no matter how big or how small the concern at 294-4428.