There is a new innovation at Laurier Brantford to help curb safety concerns for staff students, in the form a bright yellow emergency pole that has been installed in the courtyard of the Research and Academic Centre.

This new tool is very user friendly, as a simple flip of the phone receiver on the pole or the touch of a button will alert a dispatcher who will know where and when the signal is triggered. The response team will treat this with the seriousness of a 9-1-1 call and will arrive at the scene immediately.

Steps are being taken to provide members of Laurier Brantford with tools they would need in case of the worst-case scenario.

According to James Yuhasz, the special constable supervisor, “We are trying to be proactive and provide safety options for students, staff and faculty.”

The pole is very visible, standing out in both the day or night. The location was specifically chosen in reference to the new courtyard because it is easier to go down a flight of stairs in an emergency, not up them. The safety pole is also close to Post House, the student centre, the Research and Academic Centre, the former Journalism House, and Wilkes House.

Yuhasz acknowledges that choosing the perfect location was very difficult due to Laurier Brantford’s unique set-up. He says it needed to be somewhere visible but did not want it to ruin the aesthetics of the courtyard or surrounding areas.

The person who is on the other line of the emergency pole`s phone is a dispatcher who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive emergency calls.

This helps ease another main concern, one that has been voiced by students over the years, which is that the dispatchers are stationed at the Waterloo campus, and are not always familiar with the Brantford geography or building names. This new pole will give them a specific location that they can send special constables to.

As of right now, there are no plans to get Laurier Brantford their own dispatchers. Yuhasz says that the dispatchers are well trained and will be coming to Brantford this semester to familiarize themselves with the set-up.

The university is also considering setting up more emergency phones inside of buildings as well, much like the one nside of the Odeon Building. These look like a normal phone but are red, and also offer a direct line to special constables.

Yuhasz says that the emergency pole should be up and running in about two weeks. There will be an announcement made (likely over email) to confirm that it is ready and to let everyone know how to use it.