News

Kristi Ohr, Ph.D. has recently joined the staff at Environmental Health and Safety in the position of Chemical Safety Services Manager.  Kristi has over 15 years of experience in EH&S, most recently serving as the Chemical Hygiene Officer/Laboratory Coordinator at Amherst College.  

Kristi received her B.S. in Chemistry at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA and her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University, in University Park, PA. 

 

On Friday, October 27, over 100 community, college & university, and state emergency planning personnel were on campus participating in a program on "Family Reunification."  The program was sponsored by the Western Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council (WRHSAC) and brought reunification planning professionals from the "I Love You Guys" foundation to western Massachusetts.  Over 100 emergency managers, police and fire officials, University staff, community educators, and other...

Athletic Trainers and EMTs practice care skills on the ice

UMass Athletic Trainers and EMTs with UMass Emergency Medical Services took to the ice for some on-ice training at the Mullins Center.  Trainers and EMTs reviewed on-ice safety procedures and practice the use of patient care equipment and techniques for removing an injured party from the ice.

Students from LARP install a green roof on Design Building

On November 16, 2017, students from Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning (LARP) were able to put into practice skills they have learned to safely and successfully install a green roof on the small overhang of the main entrance to the building.  Recognizing that the installation was at best challenging due to the height of and the limited access to the roof, they sought out assistance from Pam Monn, Assistant Director for Custodial & Ground Services, and Campus Safety Manager...

Fire Safety Education

During quarterly fire safety inspections held at the childcare facilities on campus recently, UMass Fire Prevention Services Supervisor Michael Swain and members of the Hadley Fire Department took some time for fire safety education with the children during their fire drill.

Though the majority of UMass Amherst is located in Amherst, several facilities are located within other towns, such as Hadley, Belchertown and South Deerfield.  Community partners like the local fire departments...

Emergency Assembly Area sign near John Adams Tower.

Students arriving on campus this fall may have noticed new signs marking emergency assembly areas across the six residential areas. During evacuation situations, students can now locate and gather at their residential hall’s assembly area without staff directing them where to go.

The assembly areas are designated with strategically placed signs outside residence halls. Each sign is labeled by residential area and number, John Quincy Adams Tower, for example, is labelled “SW-8.”...

Jeff Hescock

Andrew Mangels, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance has appointed Jeffrey Hescock as Interim Executive Director for Environmental Health and Safety, replacing Don Robinson, who retired after 42 years as the head of EH&S on June 4.

Hescock, who serves as Director for University Emergency Management and Business Continuity, has been with the UMass System in his Emergency Management role since 2010, coming to the Amherst campus in 2013.

Prior to joining the UMass...

Maryanne Steele

Jeff Hescock, Interim Executive Director for Environmental Health and Safety has announced that Maryanne Steele, EH&S Construction Safety Officer, has been appointed Interim Assistant Director for Campus Safety and Fire Prevention, to fill the role left vacant with the recent retirement of Ed Mientka.

Maryanne has been with EH&S in her construction safety role since 2006.  Hescock said that ‘he looks forward to working with Maryanne throughout this transition period, and...

UMass Emergency Management at Big E

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the city of West Springfield are working together during the 17 days of the Big-E Fair at the Eastern States Exposition by having an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) operational.  MEMA reached out to a select group of Emergency Management Directors within Western Massachusetts to fill the role of the EOC's "EMD" for a day during the Big E.

Bob Laford, Assistant Director of Emergency Management at UMass filled that role on September 20...

Vaccination advocate and Paralympic gold medalist Nicholas Springer was the keynote speaker for the emergency exercise and workshop held on campus on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The workshop was held to test plans for a mass vaccination clinic if a highly contagious illness ever strikes the Five College community.

Springer was a teen when he contracted meningococcal meningitis at summer camp in 1999. The young athlete spent two months in a coma and became a quadruple amputee. After...

Dominic Singh, EMS Coordinator with EH&S was recognized with the 2017 "Outstanding Staff Partnership Award” for the “Sammie” awards under UMass Student Life. 

The Sammies is UMass Student Life's equivalent to the Oscars: “an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding performance among RSOs and student leaders.”

Dominic’s was recognized for his work with UMass Emergency Medical Services (UMEMS) and the student groups that the EMTs interact with around campus.  Dominic received...

Robert Laford, Assistant Director of Emergency Management and Business Continuity with Environmental Health and Safety’s Office of Emergency Management was named one of the 2017 recipients of the UMass Chancellor’s Citation.

A nineteen year member of the campus community, Bob was nominated in recognition for his work across campus in emergency planning and preparedness activities.  Included in the nomination were highlights about his work with UMass Emergency Medical Services (UMEMS)...

Maryanne Steele, EH&S Officer for Construction Safety at UMass Amherst was recently recognized by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the 2017 Safety and Health Professional of the Year award at the OSHA Summer Summit, a safety conference held on campus each year.  Over regional 500 safety professionals were on hand when Ms. Steele received this honor that is in recognition of her "tireless efforts and dedication in support of a safe and health workplace...

Medical Reserve Corps logo

UMass Amherst’s Medical Reserve Corps, University Health Services and the Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management Office hosted an emergency exercise and workshop on Thursday, April 7 to test plans for a mass vaccination in the event of an outbreak within the student body. More than 325 volunteers and emergency response partners participated in the event, which simulated a large-scale vaccination clinic for a meningitis outbreak

Storm Ready Logo

Emergency preparedness programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have earned the school a “StormReady” designation from the National Weather Service, the first awarded to a public university in Massachusetts.

To be recognized as StormReady, a university must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center; have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public; create a system that monitors weather conditions locally;...

Fire Extinguisher Training

UMass Fire Safety staff  traveled to Hampshire College to assist with the training of Hampshire College staff members and resident assistants in various aspects of fire safety, prior to the beginning of their academic year. Training included usage of fire extinguishers on a live fire training prop.  UMass Fire Safety personnel provide fire safety and fire extinguisher training to hundreds of UMass students, staff and faculty throughout the year.  Their partnerships with Amherst and Hadley...

All workers performing work considered to be excavations per the Mass DigSafe Law, MGL82 section 40 must receive DigSafe orientation prior to excavating work. This training must be renewed
every two years.

Watch the orientation video and fill out the certification form to complete this training requirement.

Michael Swain, Fire Prevention Services Supervisor with Environmental Health and Safety, was on hand at the Massachusetts Statehouse when Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito signed the Campus Fire Safety Month Proclamation on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.  Joining the Lieutenant Governor were fire and building officials, college safety officials, and college fire safety advocates from around the state when September announced as "Campus fire safety month" in Massachusetts.

Safety Training

EH&S Staff has been busy with safety training since the beginning of the semester. Six days a week - daytime and evening trainings are being presented for the campus community on many topics including Laboratory Safety, Biological Safety, Radiation and Laser Safety, Fire Safety, and Contractor Safety to name a few.

EH&S staff provide over 500 training classes a year.  In 2016 nearly 9,000 people participated in training classes offered by Environmental Health and Safety.

EH&S Fire Prevention and Safety staff were on hand for the UMass USafe event to welcome the students back to campus for a new academic year.

Best College Roomates Evah

Fire Safety advocates from across Massachusetts came together to support the Boston Firefighters that put together this PSA - "Best Roomates Evah" -- Smoke detectors and two ways out.

Sam the Minuteman was on hand to help UMass EMS with duties at the 2016 Homecoming Football game.

Sondra Slesinski, EH&S Officer for Physical Plant, was one of the presenters to the Annual Building Coordinators' meeting hosted by Physical Plant. UMass Amherst Building Coordinators have accepted an important responsibility. The time and energy they bring to the task make UMass Amherst a better place to learn, work and play.

Among other tasks, Building Coordinator responsibilities include:

  • Maintain an accurate list of contact persons and corresponding spaces for your...

Five College Emergency Preparedness planners and community and state agency Healthcare and Emergency Management partners participated in an Emergency Dispensing Site Workshop on campus to update and discuss Emergency Dispensing Site (EDS) planning and operations. The participants reviewed best practices and discussed how best to work together on how these plans would be implemented across the Five Colleges during an emergency. 

Jeff Hescock, Director of University Emergency Management presented a program on Planning for Shelter Operations at the New England Higher Education Emergency Managers' Symposium.

Michael Swain, supervisor of fire prevention services, has been honored with the Glenn Gaines Excellence in Fire Prevention award.

The national award was presented Feb. 27 at the Campus Fire Safety/Fire Code Academy Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

The award recognizes effective fire safety education through program development, delivery, organization and creativity in an effort to reduce the number fires on campus and in off-campus student housing.

The presentation...