Safety Fair planned for March 23

Members of CatTracker and other local emergency organizations planned a safety fair potentially set for March 23. Various members of the police, fire department, and EMS, of Jackson County as well as campus police organized the fair.

“The primary purposes of the safety fair are to increase awareness of CatTracker as well as general safety awareness,” says Tammi Hudson, the University Emergency Manager and head of CatTracker.  The fair targets WCU students as well as members of the surrounding community.

The safety fair will include a variety of events.  Jackson County Police and Rescue will both be attending the fair with ambulances and fire trucks.  The event will feature activities such as a beer goggle course, a CPR demonstration, and performances by the Jackson County Rescue Department showing what could happen in a real emergency.  The fair will also include a booth for students to sign up for CatTracker.

CatTracker is an emergency alert system that can alert students as well as people in Jackson County to emergencies such as inclement weather, suspicious people on campus, and other emergencies.  The system can contact those who have signed up through text messaging, automated phone calls, or e-mail.

According to Hudson, CatTracker would be helpful to all students, faculty, and even local community members.  However, the service still sees limited enrollment.

“Since the beginning of the year, enrollment has increased from almost 800 students to about 1700.  Faculty enrollment has increased to about 800 as well,” said Hudson. Still enrollment only includes a small percentage of the population at WCU, as there are currently over 9,000 students and about 1,500 faculty members.

The service is voluntary, and anyone can sign up to receive alerts on the WCU website. However, Hudson hopes for changes in the future.  She hopes to increase awareness, particularly among WCU students and faculty, as a lack of awareness is one of the primary obstacles CatTracker faces.  “We want to make it mandatory for students to at least see the system when signing up for classes.”

To sign up for CatTracker, simply follow the link and fill out all necessary information.