FAYETTE, Iowa (October 31, 2008)—Upper Iowa University was locked down for nearly 90 minutes today after an employee reported a sound resembling a gunshot. The decision to lockdown was made by local law enforcement officials, who later determined that the sound was created by a firecracker.
“In all situations our first concern is the safety of the members of the Upper Iowa community,” said Pam Reinig, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “We went into lock-down mode to protect them and also to allow law enforcement officials to conduct their investigation in an efficient and expeditious way.”
Word of the lock-down was sent using UIU’s emergency alert system. The system sends email, text and voicemail messages to all students, faculty, and staff who have chosen to supply contact information. In addition, parents of students who have provided their contact information are informed. The system was also used to give the “all clear” signal after the investigation was concluded.
UIU initiated its system last spring. About 75 percent of the community participates. An exercise was held early summer to determine how an actual event would be managed.
“Overall, we’re pleased with the way things were handed,” said Reinig. “Everyone was calm and cooperative. Our campus was secure within minutes of the decision and similarly, released within minutes of the all-clear notice. We were able to share accurate information with our community.”
Director of Public Relations
Work - 563-425-5326
Cell - 319-610-7108
Fax - 563-425-5701