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  CommServ > Products And Services > Selection of Emergency Telephone Locations

Selection of Emergency Telephone Locations

Emergency Telephone Oversight Committee

The Emergency Telephone Oversight Committee was formed on May 8, 2012, with a charge to select locations for campus emergency telephone instruments and to develop the criteria by which those selections are made for current and future locations. The Committee also oversees the project to implement its initial recommendations, and reviews requests for installation or removal of emergency telephones on campus. It should be noted that the committee only addresses the location of non-elevator emergency telephone instruments. Elevator emergency telephones are already covered by state guidelines. The Committee is comprised of one member each from Communications Services, Environmental Health & Safety, and the UC Santa Barbara Police. It is chaired by the member from Communications Services.


  1. Emergency telephone systems are designed to enable the users of the system to contact police, rescue, or fire personnel in the event of an emergency. While emergency telephones do place calls to the Police department, which is responsible for management of the Community Service Organization (CSO) escort service, use of emergency telephones to request escorts is incidental and should not be advertised or encouraged.
  2. Cellphone ownership usage is so ubiquitous at UC Santa Barbara that we can assume this will be the primary source of calls to 911 by members of both UC Santa Barbara and visitors to campus. The focus of the campus emergency telephone system is to provide telephone access to emergency services in areas that may have poor cell phone reception, are heavily used by the public who may not have access to a cell phone (gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, outdoor athletic training facilities, etc.), and areas in which the automatic transmittal of specific location information is important (e.g. parking lots and areas away from buildings).
  3. While all buildings on campus are considered "public" and people have access to almost all areas within buildings, in general, most space is used primarily by the department to which that space is assigned. Campus guidelines to department chairs and administrative unit heads have stressed that departments are responsible for the management of their own space and the assurance of the safety of their staffs while occupying that space. This guideline is consistent with campus policies related to safety, such as those that require departments to pay the expense of earthquake-bracing their own bookshelves, and to pay the expenses associated with storage of harmful materials. Therefore, requests for the installation of emergency or pay telephones in space controlled by departments will be processed only if the department requesting the installation agrees to pay all incurred expenses.

Criteria for Selecting Locations

Using the above assumptions and guidelines, the committee members developed the criteria which would be used to determine the most appropriate locations for emergency telephones. These criteria, in decreasing order of importance, were identified as:

  1. The potential for life-safety issues (pools, athletic fields, etc.).
  2. Areas that, while used frequently by the campus community, would be difficult to find without the location detail provided by the emergency phone system (remote parking lots; areas that are in use but are not near landmarks).
  3. Poor cell phone reception areas.
  4. The visibility of the instrument.
  5. The ease of access to instrument.
  6. Cost of instrument installation.

Criteria for Removing Existing Locations

Emergency instruments may be removed by recommendation of the Emergency Telephone Oversight Committee if they are not required to meet the standards of the assumptions and criteria above. Always bearing public safety in mind, locations may be removed if:

  1. An area is saturated with emergency instruments.
  2. An area is well lit, with excellent visibility and good cell reception.
  3. The area is identified as a low-crime, low-incident location.

Location Evaluation Process

This process shall be used to review requests for the installation of emergency phones:

  1. A request for the installation of a new emergency telephone must be submitted in writing, signed by the requester's department chair or head. The request should include a description of the proposed location and a justification of the need. The request should be sent to the Emergency Telephone Oversight Committee (ETOC) Chair.
  2. The ETOC Committee will review the request in accordance with the criteria for selection of installation locations.
  3. The ETOC Chair will communicate the decision on the request to the requester. If the request was approved, the Communications Services Director will secure the funds needed for the installation, and consult with the Small Projects Committee before having the telephone installed.




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Last modified: 10/2/2013