News

The UMass Amherst Campus Fire Safety Right To Know Report for 2016 is posted and available on-line.

https://ehs.umass.edu/campus-fire-safety-right-know-report-2016

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.”...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

March 21, 2017

Donald Robinson, for 42 years the executive director of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), has announced his retirement, effective June 4.

An on-campus reception in his honor is being planned for mid-May.

Beginning with a General Electric/UMass Amherst apprentice program in 1960, Robinson has been associated with the university for 57 years and has served under 11 chancellors and interim chancellors.

“Over the years I have experienced UMass...

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...

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

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)...

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;...

tobacco-free logo

On July 1st, 2013, UMass Amherst adopted a tobacco free policy to encourage and support a healthier environment among all members of the campus community. The Amherst campus joins over 1500 colleges and universities nationwide in being a smoke or tobacco free campus. 

The use of any tobacco product including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette/vapes are prohibited indoors and outdoors on the UMass Amherst campus grounds. This policy applies to all individuals on campus...

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...

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.

Ed Mientka retires

Ed Mientka, Associate Director for EH&S is set to retire on July 7, 2017 after 38 years of dedicated service to the University.  During his time with the University Mientka has served as a campus Fire Safety Inspector, Campus Safety Officer, Program Manager for Fire and Safety Services, and most recently as Associate Director for EH&S.

A graduate of UMass in 1977, Ed resides in Amherst with his wife Karen.  Some travel, to visit his daughter Kristie in Australia, and more time...

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.

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...

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.

EH&S and FCS personnel conduct fire alarm testing in Clean Room

EH&S Fire and Safety staff along with personnel from the Facilities and Campus Services Fire Alarm Shop recently conducted system testing in the Marcus “Clean Room.” 

As they work to maintain and protect the facilities and infrastructure on campus, maintenance staff must take the same in-lab precautions as those who work in the laboratories.  This is not only to keep themselves safe but also to safeguard the valuable research that occurs on campus.

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...
Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons

Environmental Health and Safety sponsored a unique safety program with guest speakers Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons, survivors of the tragic 2000 Seton Hall University fire.

The program included a showing of the acclaimed documentary “After The Fire: A Story of Heroes and Cowards,” which is based on journalist and author Robin Gaby Fisher’s seven-part series in the Newark Star-Ledger and later New York Times Best Selling book, “After the Fire: A True Story of...

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.