About the Office of Emergency Services

OES vehicles parked in front of the Carriage House

The Office of Emergency Services (OES) is a unit under the Associate Vice Chancellor of Risk & Safety Services in the Business & Administrative Services Division which incorporates several functions previously performed by the UCSC Fire Department (see history). OES is also responsibile for managing the campus' fire services contract with the City of Santa Cruz.

Campus Fire Marshal

As a public university, UC Santa Cruz - and the entire UC system - fall under the jurisdiction of the California Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM). The Campus Fire Marshal is a UCSC employee who represents OSFM at UC Santa Cruz to ensure compliance with the California Fire Code under the UC system's memorandum of understanding with OSFM. Both the Campus Fire Marshal and the Deputy Fire Marshal are trained and certified through OSFM's Designated Campus Fire Marshal (DCFM) program. The Campus Fire Marshal provides fire protection consultation, engineering design criteria, code interpretations, and recommendations to Physical Planning & Construction staff on campus building construction and renovation activities. The Campus Fire Marshal reviews and approves all construction plans and inspects buildings during construction/renovation, including acceptance tests for fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and other fire safety systems.

The Deputy Fire Marshal coordinates the campus building inspection program, performing comprehensive fire code compliance inspections of all campus buildings on an annual basis and monitoring necessary follow-up activities. The Campus Fire Marshal and Deputy Fire Marshal also coordinate annual fire drills for campus residential facilities and other buildings and provide California Fire Code guidance to the campus community.

Emergency Management

Emergency Management is responsible for campus level emergency planning, response coordination and recovery, including developing and maintaining the campus Emergency Operations Plan. The Director also provides internal consultation to campus divisions and units on the development of their own specific emergency and business continuity plans. This approach looks at the entire life cycle of the emergency, from the period before the emergency occurs (sometimes years in advance) through the event and into the post-emergency recovery phase. The four elements of emergency management are traditionally identified as follows:
  • Mitigation - eliminating or minimizing hazards that may result in a major emergency
  • Preparedness - preparing to deal with hazards that cannot be controlled
  • Response - responding to emergency situations that do occur
  • Recovery - returning to a level of normalcy after an emergency has occured

The Director of Emergency Management leads the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during major emergencies and planned events, and also serves as the primary campus liaison to the Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and other local, state, and federal emergency planning groups.

Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity planning is a systematic interdisciplinary approach to planning for how the campus will continue to provide critical operations and business functions during and after a disaster. Such planning is a crucial part of the larger integrated UC Santa Cruz Emergency Management program which focuses on mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery planning and activities.

The campus employs a full-time Business Continuity Planner who reports to the Director of Emergency Management and who is responsible for managing this planning effort. The Business Continuity Planner also provides support to the larger Emergency Management function, including EOC staffing and planning assistance.

Public Education

Public education for members of the campus community on fire safety and emergency preparedness is also a key function of OES and is supported by all OES staff. OES coordinates campus training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and basic first aid and administers the campus public access AED program. OES also provides Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to the campus community as well as training in general fire safety, emergency preparedness, and other related topics.

Mass Notification (CruzAlert)

OES manages the CruzAlert system for the campus and works closely with UCSC Police Department management and dispatch personnel to ensure that the system is ready for use during any emergency. CruzAlert messages are primarily sent by the Police Department's dispatch center during active emergencies, with OES providing system management and overall administration.

Fire Services Contract Management

OES and the AVC of Risk & Safety Services are responsible for management of the campus' fire services contract with the City of Santa Cruz. Under this contract, the Santa Cruz Fire Department staffs the campus fire station replacing the former UCSC Fire Department and provides fire and EMS response to the campus. The Director of Emergency Management serves as the campus' primary point of contact with the Santa Cruz Fire Department and is responsible for monitoring contract compliance as well as serving as a liaison between the Santa Cruz Fire Department and the campus community on emergency response, facilities, and other issues.

See Also