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Emergency Response Structure

This page outlines the University of Calgary Emergency Response Levels, the Organizational Structure for planning and response.


The University of Calgary has three Emergency Response Levels: 

Level 1: A situation exists that represents a danger to the University, however, it can be handled by the University First Response Team and City of Calgary first response from fire, police or ambulance.  The expected duration of the emergency response phase is less than 12 hours. 

Level 2:  A serious emergency exists that represents a danger to the University that poses an immediate threat to employees, students, visitors, or the public that cannot be satisfied by evacuating the building.   The expected duration of the emergency response phase is between 12 to 24 hours and it is beyond the capabilities of the First Response Team.  This level requires activation of the Emergency Operations Group and the minimum component of the Crisis Management Team. 

Level 3: A crisis situation exists that seriously affects the University community's safety, the environment, or operations and may be a direct and immediate threat to employees, students, visitors, or the public. It requires a significant response from the Municipal emergency response agencies and is expected to have more than a 24 hour duration for emergency response. This level requires full activation of the Emergency Operations Group and the Crisis Management Team.


The University of Calgary emergency response system is designed to manage all emergency response activities on University property.  It is composed of the following major elements:


Groups responding include:

  • First Response Team (FRT)
  • Emergency Operations Group (EOG)
  • Crisis Management Team (CMT)

This structure will be mobilized to the extent necessary to effectively deal with the situation.

First Response Team

The First Response Team is the first line resource for all levels of emergency operations on University property.

The University Incident Commander, identified by a bright green vest and Incident Commander patch,  will coordinate the first response activities, personnel and communications at the emergency site. The team may be called upon to respond to off-site incidents involving the University as required. 

The First Response Team is the first level of decision-making within the University's emergency response organization and is responsible for all first line activities related to an emergency on University property. They co-ordinate activities of all University resources present at the scene of an emergency from the Incident Command Post. The University FRT will also coordinate with municipal emergency services personnel, mutual aid partners and contract emergency response resources.

Emergency Operations Group

The Emergency Operations Group (EOG) is the primary resource for supporting the University First Response Team in an emergency. The EOG will be activated for all Level 2 and Level 3 incidents.

The Emergency Operations Group has the following functions:

  • Provide direct support to the operations of the First Response Team;
  • Evaluate and prepare for the impact of the emergency on the overall operation of the University;
  • Minimize the effect of the emergency on the rest of the University;
  • Communicate with municipal authorities;
  • Deal with regulatory agencies;
  • Manage all communications with media and public;
  • Long term planning for the emergency operation;
  • Plan for and initiate post incident recovery operations;
  • Facilitates decision making and takes direction from the Crisis Management Team;
  • Maintain documentation on all decisions and actions of the EOG as well as acting as the archive for all documentation related to the individuals responding on-site at the emergency; and
  • Operationalize the strategic decisions of the Crisis Management Team.

Crisis Management Team

The Crisis Management Team (CMT) is the primary body for policy direction and interpretation for the University during a crisis. The minimum component of the Crisis Management Team may be activated for any Level 2 emergency and the Crisis Management Team will be activated for a Level 3 emergency.

The Crisis Management Team has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide support for the EOG;
  • Consider impacts of emergency on the long term operation of the University in terms of reputation, government regulation and service delivery;
  • Provide interpretation of University policy when needed;
  • Communicate with senior levels of government;
  • Provide spokesperson to media as required; and
  • Communicate with other senior University officials/committees.