Impact on Learning

California State University, Long Beach

Project Snapshot

PROJECT: Emergency Operations Plan Enhancement
INSTITUTION: California State University, Long Beach
LOCATION: Long Beach, CA

California State University, Long Beach

Ensuring student safety is one of the most important things a college or university can do to create a great learning environment. CSULB was able to do just that, by refining their EOP and adopting EVAC+CHAIR emergency evacuation chairs on their campus.


At California State University Long Beach (CSULB), university administrators and officials recognized the importance of having a long-term Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in case of a disaster or emergency. The university created an emergency management advisory committee of 30 campus community members that would review their EOP each quarter to maximize preparedness.

One issue that was examined during an examination of CSULB’s EOP was the egress of those with limited mobility during an emergency event. Having a way for them to evacuate quickly and safely was a problem that needed to be solved.


The university and committee explored several options, and chose EVAC+CHAIR products because of their ability to maneuver up and down stairs while carrying a person weighing up to 350 pounds. “Our campus administration was on board with the idea from the beginning, which is why we were able to approve funding for so many. We have approximately 110 chairs, one on each floor of every multi-level building with the exception of parking structures,” explains Allyson Joy, assistant emergency coordinator at the university.

With a campus population of over 45,000, training for proper use of the chairs was offered to police officers and building marshals. The university now offers training by request. “Everyone knows what they are, they see them every day, and at least acknowledge it is a tool for emergency situations. We focused first on training our police officers and building marshals and then made the training by request only.”


Being completely prepared for an emergency event means being sure that every member of a campus community is accounted for. CSULB has done just that, by consistently reviewing their EOP and by having EVAC+CHAIR products on campus. Now, rather than faculty and staff wondering what they might do for those with limited mobility in an emergency, they can focus on doing a job in a way that benefits students the most.

In the same way, students of all abilities can now focus on studying and learning, knowing that they will be able to evacuate quickly, if needed. Creating a safe learning atmosphere is one of the most important things a college or university can do, and with consistent EOP review and the right evacuation products, CSULB is ensuring safety for all community members will be a priority for years to come.

Editor’s Review

The presence of safety equipment informs a campus population that the facilities in which they are spending their time are safe, secure and meet the necessary safety codes. When building occupants are confident that they can evacuate efficiently in case of an emergency, they can focus on learning. Potential students — and their parents — also notice safety features and equipment when visiting potential schools.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .