Frequently Asked Questions

General CIRT FAQ

The University of Arizona Critical Incident Response Team is an organization composed of various campus officials that focuses primarily on the management of situations involving critical incidents on campus.

CIRT supports the Incident Commander by providing University resources and support. CIRT does not make policy decisions for the University but rather gathers information and provides that information to the Executive Policy Group, which makes the long-range policy decisions.

CIRT is activated whenever there is a critical incident on campus that could potentially affect the safety, health or well-being of people on campus. In the event of an incident that requires that CIRT be activated, the UA home page would be updated with information about the incident.

Kendal Washington White, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Paula Balafas, Assistant Vice President/Chief of Police are the Co-Chairs of CIRT.

The University has an orderly succession plan, which goes 10 deep into the UA administration. If the president is unavailable, his/her duties fall to the executive vice president and provost. The next person in line is the senior vice president for business affairs.

CIRT Organizational Chart

CIRT is organized in line with the Incident Command System, or ICS, as directed in the National Incident Management System. This same framework is used across the country to manage incidents.

The Incident Commander is responsible for the overall management of the incident.

The EOC Director is responsible for monitoring the organizational effectiveness related to readiness, activation, and managing people and resources within the Emergency Operations Center. 

The Safety Officer ensures the safety of the operations.

The Public Information Officer is the spokesperson for the incident.

The Liaison Officer is responsible for integrating individuals into the ICS.

The Operations Section is responsible for the tactical operations of the incident, meaning this section gets things done.

The Planning Section members develop the Incident Action Plan for extended situations, acting as long-range planners and preparing contingency plans.

The Logistics Section is responsible for ordering and gathering resources to support the incident.

The Administration Section is responsible for the financial, compensatory and administrative functions.

When activated, CIRT members generally report to the UA Emergency Operations Center, which is located in an off-campus University building. There are other designated locations on campus where CIRT can work if that location is inaccessible or it is determined that the members should convene on campus.

Updated information will be posted on the main UA Home Page and UANews and sent out via UAlert, the University’s emergency alert service.

The UA home page will be updated frequently with information about the incident. Parents also are encouraged to have their students sign them up for UAlert, the University’s emergency alert service, which sends updates via cell phone text messages. All UA employees and students can sign up themselves and one other person. Other resources during an emergency are the Dean of Students Office (520-621-7057) and the UA Parents and Family Association (520-621-0884).

No. The decision to cancel classes or close the University is made by the UA president or, in his or her absence, the acting president. Such decisions would be made based on recommendations from the Executive Policy Group, a subgroup of CIRT.

Students and employees who have signed up for UAlert should expect to receive this type of information via UAlert messages. They also can check the UA home page for updated information. In the case of a pandemic, it’s likely that local news media will be reporting on the situation and helping to disseminate information to protect the health of employees and students.

In a campus emergency, other law enforcement agencies may be called for assistance.

CIRT members meet regularly to discuss and prepare for potential incidents. Members also participate in drills that simulate incidents and undergo training in handling incidents and emergencies.

In the case of fire or a chemical spill, or another contained emergency, are there instructions available for what actions should be taken?

Emergency procedures for specific incidents are available on the In Case of Emergency page and the Risk Management & Safety website.

Yes. That plan is available on the Campus Emergency Response Plan page. There also is a plan that has been developed for use during a flu pandemic.