Corriveau prepares Kwantlen for emergencies

March 10, 2011 by  

Guy Corriveau is Kwantlen's new manager for emergency planning. He has held that position since June 2010. (Photo courtesy of

Guy Corriveau has only been on the job for seven months, but Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s new manager of emergency planning is already bring the university up to speed on emergency planning.

Corriveau is Kwantlen’s first manager of emergency planning, a job he began in June 2010. In the seven months since, Corriveau has been steadily bringing all the Kwantlen campuses into emergency planning by instituting programs, plans and exercises, such as January’s Exercise Shake Out BC.

This is the first time Kwantlen has had an office of emergency planning, and Corriveau says that the university is committed to doing the job right.

The university has set aside money to help Corriveau upgrade communication systems at Kwantlen, to equip Kwantlen with the tools it needs in case of an emergency, as well as giving him flexibility to propose and test different programs, such as volunteer emergency response teams like the ones at BCIT.

Corriveau sets up programs and systems on what he calls his three-by-three-plus-one matrix. This matrix includes reviewing, establishing and implementing evacuation protocols, lockdown protocols and communication issues, along with developing a management structure so those systems can be implemented.

These systems will take time to be put in place, Corriveau said.

“We can’t go into it hastily, we can’t go into it quickly, we have to go into it deliberately, because if you go into in quickly you are likely to make mistakes,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau said that a plan has to be put in place as soon as possible, with as many people involved with the plan as possible to ensure that when an emergency strikes students and faculty will be ready.

One of Corriveau’s goals is to create emergency response teams on every campus at Kwantlen. He says that this approach would put the onus on both students and faculty to get involved in emergency planning. The emergency response teams could be made up of students and staff volunteers. The teams would be trained in light-urban search and rescue, first aid and basic emergency response and recovery.

The purpose of emergency planning at Kwantlen is to create an environment where students and staff can feel safe while they study and work.

“My personal goal is to help Kwantlen achieve a safe and ready learning environment. We need to get to a place where people feel safe being here,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau has the backing of the leadership at Kwantlen and support to invest in emergency planning. The engagement of the leaders at Kwantlen allowed Corriveau to commit Kwantlen to participating in Exercise Shake Out BC, an exercise the organizers estimate 470,000 people participated in.

“I asked senior management if I could commit Kwantlen to participating, and they said yes, and that is the basis of good emergency planning support from leadership,” Corriveau said.


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