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Emergency Management

Emergency Management

By The Numbers

  • Provided EM services as part of the unified command post for 6 WSU home football games in 2015.
  • Conducted regular EM-related trainings and exercises, including a 3-day, multi-jurisdictional FEMA-sponsored Integrated Emergency Management course.
  • Provided training/workshops for hundreds of first responders, emergency managers, university personnel, volunteers, and other community members.
  • Contacted more than 21,000 opt-in individuals per semester with notifications and tests.
  • Provided EM notification services via Everbridge for faculty/staff and students in multiple WSU locations statewide and expanded coverage to partner institutions in Spokane and Vancouver.
  • Provide alert notifications for more than 34,000 WSU emails in the Pullman region on an ongoing basis.



When WSU’s Emergency Management Coordinator retired in 2011, the administration called upon the Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) to assist in managing the full spectrum of emergency planning, preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery, and management functions for the university. DGSS now operates on an “Internal Service Agreement” under the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration to provide emergency management and public safety services for WSU.


The Emergency Management program provides a full range of emergency management services for the Pullman campus, Research & Extension Centers, and Extension, as well as other WSU offices and locations statewide, and coordinates with campus safety programs at the Vancouver, Spokane, and Tri-Cities campuses. The Office of Emergency Management operated by DGSS provides training, planning, administrative support, response, mitigation, and related services to establish a robust “all hazards” capacity for WSU. This includes direct management of WSU Emergency Response and Emergency Management planning, management of the WSUAlert emergency notification systems, management of emergency support team staffing, training, exercises and activation, and interaction with all levels of the university to support emergency management and public safety.

  • The WSU Emergency Support Structure has been restructured and updated so that emergency support team membership and functions now more closely reflect WSU’s institutional structure and are in line with the National incident Management System.
  • The EM program has developed a strong working partnership with Pullman and Whitman County emergency management, memorialized in 2013 through an MOU for joint activities. Included in these activities are: Development of a coordinated “Consolidated Emergency Management Plan” (C-CEMP) covering WSU, the City of Pullman, and Whitman County; providing coverage for Pullman and Whitman County under the WSU contract for emergency notification capacity (WSUAlert); and the pursuit of other joint planning and joint training and exercise activities.

The EM program also:

  • Rolled out the refined WSU continuity planning vehicle, including emergency response and emergency action components, to the Pullman campus.
  • Implemented and continued testing of the WebEOC platform for emergency support and interaction with the State Emergency Management Division.
  • Participates in a number of WSU and other statewide activities, including Campus Safety Week and the annual Washington CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Expo.
  • Provides critical input and capacity to help meet WSU’s institutional obligations under the Jeanne Clery Act as administered by the Dept. of Education, including: Development and delivery of a Martin Stadium Tabletop exercise for all those involved in home game stadium security; sponsoring FEMA Incident Command System training for WSU personnel, conducting multiple sessions and courses throughout 2015; periodic testing of the WSUAlert emergency notification system components, and expansion to include Twitter (@WSUAlert) as a vehicle; and providing notification and support in response to public safety incidents on the Pullman campus.


“DGSS has been a great supporter of our State Agency CERT program – hosting trainings, serving on the advisory committee, and assisting in planning for the annual NW Citizen Corps Expo. With the assistance of DGSS we have trained over 450 state employees on CERT.” –  Paula Towne, WA State Citizen Corps/CERT Program Manager

“The Pullman Police Department has partnered with DGSS to coordinate and leverage emergency management capabilities through joint planning and exercising. Our collaboration with DGSS has enhanced the City of Pullman’s emergency management program.” –  Gary Jenkins, Chief of Police, Pullman, WA


  • The University now has an expanded and upgraded service system, WSUAlert, resulting in increased efficiencies in notifications to faculty, staff, and students statewide. EWU, UW, and Clark College have benefitted from inclusion on our Spokane and Vancouver campuses.
  • Development of the C-CEMP has impacted members of participating communities by providing for a coordinated, multi-jurisdictional response to emergency situations.
  • Participation in Campus Safety Week and CERT Expo provides education and training to hundreds of students and community responders annually, which allows them to better respond to events in their homes, workplaces, and communities.
  • Development, sponsorship, and delivery of trainings and exercises provided on the Pullman campus and around the state further equips first responders and others who assist in emergency situations to provide more effective, efficient response services.
  • The EM program engages graduate and undergraduate students as interns and paid employees on a number of projects.
For more information, please contact Michael Gaffne,, or Christina Sanders,, 311 Hulbert Hall, Pullman, WA 99164, or call DGSS at 509-335-3329.