Emergency Response Policy

Policy number: CS-1403-2008
Policy Title: Emergency Response Policy
Policy Owner: Vice President, Corporate Services
Effective Date: June 18, 2008
Last Revised: March 25, 2024

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision Date
  8. Attachments
  9. Specific Links

1. Purpose

The purpose of Mohawk College’s (the “College”) Emergency Response Policy (“Policy”) is to establish response procedures to ensure the College is prepared to respond to a wide range of emergencies, critical incidents or business disruptions in a coordinated, timely and effective manner.

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all members of the College Community including Governors, executive and senior leaders, faculty, staff, students, contractors, suppliers, volunteers and visitors. This policy also applies to external organizations that lease College space, operate on College property or who are directly connected to any College initiatives.

Established procedures will apply at all campuses, except the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, where emergency response procedures are determined by McMaster University.

3. Definitions

“Emergency” refers to a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial property damage that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise. – As per the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E9,

“Emergency Operations Control (EOC) Management Team Group” 

The group designed by the Mohawk Executive Group to direct the College’s response, recovery and to mitigate the impact of an emergency on our campus(es) using the Incident Management System (IMS) structure. This also includes the implementation of the college’s Emergency Response Plan.

4. Principles

The foremost priority in responding to an emergency is the safety and protection of the College Community.  The College is also committed to limiting or containing the extent of the damage incurred during an emergency, and to the recovery and restoration of operations as soon as possible   

Key Objectives in any emergency are:

  • Preservation of Life.
  • Minimize harm – both physical, financial, and reputational.
  • Establish a clear framework by which to respond to incidents or emergencies.
  • Establish clear guidelines to clearly communicate direction and coordination to the college community.
  • Minimize disruption to the ongoing operation of the college.
  • Minimize emotional stress.
  • Ensure ongoing assessment of the plan in order to continually improve our response capability.

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Vice President, Corporate Services will ensure that the information within this policy is applied and that all actions comply with applicable legislation.

6. Rules

The President, or designate, has the authority to declare a formal state of emergency for the College, any campus or any part of the College.

6.1 Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

The Emergency Response Plan (ERP) designates the framework and guiding principles on how the College will respond, recover from, and mitigate the impact of an emergency on our campuses. It describes the plan of operations and functional responsibilities of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Management Team.  The plan takes an “all hazards” risk mitigation approach to any potential emergency that involves employees, students and the college community. 

The Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is subject to changes, updates and revisions as the environment of the College changes, according to the process outlined in Section 7 of the ERP.  The ERP will be reviewed at least annually by Security Services.

Mohawk Executive Group (MEG) has identified that all EOC Management Team members, MEG, and emergency support staff members are required, at minimum, to have completed IMS 100 Training from Emergency Management Ontario. 

Additional IMS and Emergency Management Training will be provided by the College on an ad-hoc basis, and/or at the direction of MEG directly. Taking part in training and exercises together builds relationships, connections and trust between EOC Management Team members and community partners.

6.2 Response Levels

6.2.1 Level 1 - Occurrence (First Responders)

An event or occurrence which is small and typically temporary in nature requiring action by designated emergency response personnel in business-as-usual functions to prevent further damage. Incidents can be handled by primary emergency response departments such as Security Services, Health, Safety & Wellness or Facility Services. It may require assistance from external first responders. Return to normal is almost immediate. 

Examples: Medical First Aid, Flood, Fire Alarm, IT Security Vulnerability, Elevator Failure, Storm watch or warning

6.2.2 Level 2 - Event (Administrator with SLT Member Support)

An event or occurrence that is moderate in nature. The event will have several areas/departments involved. It may involve support from multiple external first responders but is limited in nature and is managed in business-as-usual functions.

Examples: Major event planned, Fire/Flood with limited impact/damage, Power Failure (may escalate levels based on length of time and cause), Threat, Hazardous Spill (contained), IT Service Failure, Severe winter storm 

6.2.3 Level 3 - Emergency (EOC Activation - Scalable)

An event or occurrence that is serious, or larger in nature. The event will have several areas involved with a partial impact on college operations and academic delivery. This may involve evacuations, resources and support requirements in addition to external support. The Chief Operating Officer (or designate) will determine the EOC Management Team members required to be activated and will identify the EOC Director.

Examples – Fire/Flood with isolated impact, Cyber-attack, Winter Ice Storm, Tornado, Earthquake 

6.2.4 Level 4 - Disaster (EOC Activation)

An event or occurrence that is serious in nature. The event may have all areas involved with a significant impact on college operations and academic delivery. This may involve evacuations, resources, and support requirements. The Chief Operating Officer (or designate will identify the EOC Director and stand down any EOC Management Team members not required. 

Examples: Public Health Event, Active Shooter, Fire with significant impact, Significant Flood or storm, Winter Ice Storm, Earthquake, Tornado

7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

March 2029

7.2 Responsibility

The Vice President, Corporate Services will review this policy every five years or earlier where required.

8. Attachments

This space has been left intentionally blank.

9. Specific Links