Visit UMass Amherst Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for resources and updates on the University's COVID-19 response. This site provides the latest campus news and comprehensive information. 


Mpox Update

The university is also closely monitoring the local, regional and national public health situations regarding the global outbreak of mpox (formerly called monkeypox). The campus is committed to informing the UMass community about health issues that may affect them. We recognize that there is risk for stigma or discrimination when communicating about a new disease outbreak. We all have a responsibility to reject any stigmatizing words or actions related to...

During the 2022 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) annual convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 25-27, UMass Emergency Medical Services (UMEMS) were presented with the foundation’s Striving for Excellence Recognition.

Active on campus since 1953, UMEMS, with 115 members, is a student-run and student-operated EMS service on the UMass Amherst campus, under the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). UMEMS provides non-transporting EMT-BLS medical...

During the 2022 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) annual convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 25-27, Dominic Singh, EMS coordinator at Environmental Health and Safety, was awarded the Collegiate EMS Advisor of the Year for his work with UMass Emergency Medical Services, on campus.

The Collegiate EMS Advisor of the Year honors the college administrator who has contributed significantly to the success of campus-based EMS providers and their organizations....

Upcoming walk-in hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through June 4, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  If you prefer to make an appointment for a vaccine, please go to the Vaccine Appointment Scheduling page.

For more information on vaccinations on campus visit UMass Vaccine Clinic Webpage.

Katherine Dorrity

Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management is pleased to welcome Katherine Dorrity as Assistant Director of Emergency Management.

Kate comes to UMass with a strong Emergency Management background in Higher Education.  Most recently, Kate was Assistant Director of Emergency Management and Continuity at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she was instrumental that institution’s COVID-19 pandemic response, as well as having served as EOC Manager during her time at IU. ...

EH&S recently held a lab safety event to complement our online trainings.  Activities included evaluating a mock lab for safety, demonstration of how to safely use biosafety cabinets, hands-on lessons in how to use meters to detect radioactive materials, and use of fire extinguishers.  Participants were also able to try on and order lab coats and safety glasses, learn about different types of gloves, and get samples of PPE, safety posters, and other safety swag.  There was also plenty of...

Download, print and circulate the posters below. These posters are being distributed to promote the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please promote these safe-living guides. Place them in your work spaces, on campus and at home. You can help You and Your UMass Community stay safe. Posters are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Nepalese.  


If you are an on-site employee, please use this COVID-19 Daily Self Checklist each day before reporting to work. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added new symptoms to its known COVID-19 symptoms. We have added these new symptoms to the COVID-19 Daily Self Checklist...

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...

EH&S partnered with Sam the Minuteman and UMass External Relations to produce eight separate Public Safety Announcements about Campus Safety.  The PSAs will be playing on UMass Social Media accounts throughout the month of October 2018.

A big thank you for helping with the PSAs go to a number of EH&S student employees and members of UMass Emergency Medical Services – and of course Sam!


To review all the videos, visit the ...

Maryanne Steele

Jeff Hescock, Executive Director for Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management has announced that Maryanne Steele has been appointed Assistant Director for Campus Safety and Fire Prevention, a role that she has been filling on an interim basis since the retirement of Ed Mientka.

Maryanne has been with EH&S in a construction safety role since 2006.  Hescock said that ‘he looks forward to working with Maryanne, and appreciates the wealth of knowledge that she brings...

Draper Hall was one of the stops for the UMass Amazing Race on October 12, 2018.  Over 40 teams (150 "Racers") scurried around campus trying to decipher the clues and find the stations.  UMass EMS was on hand at Draper manning one of the stations and challenging the runners of first aid knowledge and skills.

As of 5/29/2021, there are new campus face coverings and testing protocols.  Follow this link for the changes to its public health protocols that are being made at UMass Amherst.

Throughout the pandemic, UMass Amherst has made its decisions based on state and federal guidance. Governor Charlie Baker recently announced that Massachusetts ...

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

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...

Fire Safety Education with the children

Campus Fire Marshal Mike Swain visited both Toddler and Preschool classrooms to read a book about firefighters and show the children his firefighter gear during October, National Fire Prevention month.

Over 500 professionals from higher education, general industry, health care industry and construction industry from across the country participated in the 7th Annual OSHA Summer Summit on Wednesday, June 23.  The summit held virtually for the first time have a board variety of breakout sessions of interest to all industries.

Hosted by UMass Amherst Environmental Health and Safety Department in conjunction with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the OSHA training...

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 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...

Robert Laford, Assistant Director of Emergency Management, presented a program on the UMass response to the Meningitis outbreak at the International Association of Emergency Manager’s annual conference, held in Grand Rapids Michigan, recently.  The program, “Outbreak! A Campus Response to Meningitis-B,” reviewed the background, planning and response to the declared outbreak of Meningitis-B that occurred at UMass Amherst during Fall 2017.

This program, presented to members of the IAEM’...

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.

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 Med Chancellor Collins presents to UMEMS membership

UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins and members of UMass Emergency Medical Services recently met in the Old Chapel for an informative evening about both the Amherst and the Worcester Campuses.  Chancellor Collins presented a program on the Medical School and also provided his views on what makes the best candidate as a Medical School applicant.  As a physicain, Chancllor Collins also highlighted the need for new Physicians in the future and what a great calling it is for...

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.

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...

During the 2019 National Collegiate EMS Foundation (NCEMSF) annual convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 22-24, members of UMass Emergency Medical Services (UMEMS) were presented with the Foundation’s EMS Ready Campus recognition.

The NCEMSF EMS Ready Campus program recognizes excellence in emergency management and disaster preparedness of collegiate EMS organizations. Additionally, the program provides a framework for the enhancement of emergency management education,...

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.

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.”...

RUN HIDE FIGHT safety protocol

As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to enhance public safety, a new active threat training video is being shared with the campus community to anticipate a potential emergency and guide individual decision-making.

An active threat refers to any incident that creates an immediate...

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.

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...

While serving as President of the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Maryanne Steele, Assistant Director for Fire and Safety Services at EH&S, accepted the Gold Level award from the ASSP.  The award is to recognize the local organization’s achievement as a high-performing chapter with regard to its engagement, community outreach, providing professional development opportunities, and leadership.

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

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.

U H S Fire Extinguisher Training

Univeristy Health Services staff received fire safety and fire extinguisher training during their annual Staff Days prior to the beginning of the new academic year.

Campus Fire Marshal Michael Swain and Fire Safety Officer Rick Sawin conducted the fire safety training for the UHS staff.

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...
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...

EH&S Staff welcome students at U-Fest

Staff and Students from Environmental Health and Safety participated in the U-Fest activities during 2019 Move-In Weekend.  Representatives from EH&S Fire Safety, Emergency Management and UMass Emergency Medical Services spent the afternoon welcoming students and offering information for living, working and learning on campus.

Fire Safety staff provided live fire extinguisher training to over 100 students.  Emergency Management interactived with many students, discussing UMass...

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. 

Attendees to conference

Thirty members of UMass Emergency Medical Services and their advisors traveled to Philadelphia on February 23-25, 2018 to participate in the National Collegiate EMS Conference.  The three-day event was full of training and networking opportunities with other College EMS groups from around the country.  UMEMS was one of the largest contingents of the 1,200 attendees.

Bob Laford and Dominic Singh presented a program on UMass' preparations and response to the Meningitis B outbreak on...

Judy Laduc

Judy LaDuc, UMass Amherst Biological Safety Officer with Environmental Health and Safety has been appointed to serve as a Council Member on the New England Biosafety Association (NEBSA).

The NEBSA is a professional organization, which aims to promote knowledge of biological safety and to support those working in the field of biosafety.  NEBSA provides local educational and networking opportunities in the New England region for those with an interest in biological safety.  Formed in...

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...

Members of UMass Emergency Medical Services were on hand to welcome 40 campus teams competing in the UMass Amazing Race on April 6.  When teams arrived at Draper Hall they were directed to watch a video showing First Aid steps and they had to replicate what they saw to one of their teammates.

EH&S has a new face on campus with the arrival of Rob Wallace.  Rob is taking on the position of Campus Safety Officer under the Campus Safety and Fire Prevention program at Environmental Health and Safety.  Pictured here is Bob Laford, Assistant Director for Emergency Management, presenting Rob with his badge.  Bob previously served as the Campus Safety Officer, and the badge has been worn by each of the CSO's dating back to the early 1980's.

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...

Practicing shelter skills

UMass and Northampton Emergency Managers teamed up with the Western Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council to “exercise” Hampshire County’s Emergency Shelter plan recently.  The scenario was based on a tornado scenario in the county, but the need to operate a shelter could come from a variety of natural or man-made incidents.

Representatives from 15 emergency response organizations were on hand for the exercise, including MRC and College of Nursing members and representatives...

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...

Over 550 professionals from Higher Education, General Industry and Construction Industry came to campus to participate in the 5th Annual OSHA Summer Summit.

Hosted byUMass Amherst in conjunction with OSHA, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the OSHA training Institute at Keene State College, Safety Council of Western New England and the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals, the safety training and networking event will offer...

EH&S has created new safety posters that promote laboratory safety principles and practices.  All those faculty, staff, and students who work in laboratories are initially trained in basic safety principles and practices through Environmental Health and Safety, but the sustainability of safe laboratories extends beyond that initial training and becomes each individual’s responsibility to help foster a culture of safety.

The new safety poster initiative is one tool that assists...

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)...

Staff from EH&S Fire Prevention Services recently conducted training for University Health Services Staff as part of their Staff Days training.  As another academic year begins EH&S staff provide training in many topics including fire safety and fire extinguisher use, laboratory safety, biological safety, radiological safety, contractor safety and other topics to hundreds of students, staff and faculty. 

Some of this specialty training given by EH&S Fire Safety staff was...

Jeff Hescock

Andrew Mangels, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance has appointed Jeffrey Hescock as permanent Executive Director for Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management. 

Hescock has been serving as interim Executive Director after the retirement of Don Robinson, who retired in 2017.

Hescock has been with the UMass System serving in an Emergency Management role since 2010, coming to the Amherst campus in 2013.

Prior to joining the UMass system, Hescock...

EH&S staff representing Campus Safety and Fire Prevention, Emergency Management, and UMass Emergency Medical Services were on hand enjoying U-Fest with First Year Students.  Hundreds of students stopped by to take their chance at winning prizes (including a GREAT T-Shirt), putting out fires, and learning about becoming an EMT.

Mother Nature was supportive too with great weather and a lot of smiles and laughs.