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Off-Campus Accident Response Plan


In the event of an off-campus accident involving life-threatening injury or death of Whitman College students, faculty, or staff the following plan will be implemented. For the purpose of this plan, all Whitman College students, staff and faculty injured or involved in an accident will be referred to as participants.

Response Team

A team consisting of two elements, one on campus and the other deployed to the accident location will respond when activated by the President or their designee. The on-campus element or “Campus Team” will consist of, at minimum, the President or designee, the CFO or designee, a representative from the Communications Office, the Counseling Center and Security. The accident location element or “On-Site Team” will consist of the Dean of Students, Director of Communications and Manager of Environmental Health and Safety or their designees. Team members may fill multiple roles. Additional personnel may be assigned as necessary. The Dean of Students or their designee will be the On-Site Team leader.


Campus Team

  • Assess the situation. Develop a plan of action, inform necessary personnel and assign tasks as situation requires
  • Mobilize the On-Site Team
  • Establish an emergency budget number to pay for expenses related to the accident
  • Provide local hospital(s) with insurance information, as needed. The CFO or designee will coordinate insurance coverage information for families
  • Notify Student Health Center to prepare for requests for participants’ medical records and primary insurance information from local hospital(s) and healthcare providers
  • Provide files from Dean of Student’s office on all participants involved in accident. Gather family information for notification if necessary
  • Provide updated information to On-Site Team, as available
  • Brief support staff members at Offices of Dean of Students, Communications, Residence Life, Office of the CFO, Presidents Office, Counseling Center, Health Center, Security and Campus Information
  • Advise team members and other campus officials how and where to direct inquiries
  • Provide 24-hour phone coverage during the initial crisis period
  • Ensure calls to the President’s Office, Office of the CFO, Counseling Center, Health Center, Dean of Students Office and Communications Office have been transferred to a phone number or numbers which will be answered by an on -call member of the Campus Response Team
  • The Dean of Students or designee will notify families of the accident and condition of student participants as soon as practical upon receipt of reliable information
  • The Office of the CFO or designee will notify families of accident and the condition of faculty, staff and other non-student participants as soon as practical upon receipt of reliable information
  • Arrange transportation and lodging for participants’ families, as needed
  • Contact Governing Board members and/or Alumni for assistance with accidents occurring in their local area
  • Contact the Admissions Officer in Seattle in the event of participants being transferred to Seattle area hospitals.
  • Notify Director of Physical Plant. Request vehicle maintenance records. Brief Physical Plant staff as to probable cause of accident.
  • Director of Communications or designee will respond to all media inquiries
  • Determine how and when to notify campus community
  • Identify follow-up procedures for participants after their return to campus
  • Greet and debrief participants as they return to campus. Notify participants of services available through the Dean of Students Office, Health Center and Counseling Center
  • Meet with and debrief On-Site Team members when they return to campus. Conduct post-response evaluation
  • Send appropriate Thank-you notes to all (i.e.: hospital staff, community members, emergency personnel ) who provided assistance

On-Site Team

The On-Site Team will meet at the Office of the Dean of Students for briefing prior to departure. The Team leader will ensure the following items accompany the team:

  • A copy of the Off-Campus Accident Response Plan
  • A roster of team member and other important phone numbers
  • Each team member’s Whitman College identification card
  • At least two Whitman College purchase cards
  • A copy of the roster of participants
  • Accident Investigation Kit (described below)
  • Insurance information for participant, vehicle, and property coverage

On-Site Administrative Activities

  • Establish a command post (Team leader will be stationed at this location)
  • Meet for information update and task assignments
  • Confirm names, location and condition (if available) of participants involved
  • Relay information regarding the status of participants and other relevant information to the Campus Team (Team Leader or designee task)
  • Assign at least two representatives to each hospital where injured participants are being treated
  • Assist arriving family members
  • Provide for needs of participants (i.e. phone calls, food, clothing, lodging)
  • Arrange transportation for participants to return to campus as soon as practical
  • Retrieve personal possessions of participants if possible

Accident Investigation

The Environmental Health and Safety Manager or designee will lead the accident investigation effort. The investigation should include the following activities or note why they were not completed:

  • Interview participants as availability and circumstances allow
  • Obtain name and agency of investigating Officer(s), and other investigating/responding agency contact for accident-related information
  • Determine the precise location of the accident (i.e. street address, GPS coordinates)
  • Request copies of investigating/responding agency reports
  • Location of Whitman and/or participant vehicle(s)
  • Visit and photograph the scene of the accident
  • View and photograph vehicle(s) involved in the accident
  • Complete a written summary of accident and furnish it to the Team Leader
  • Compile information for report to insurance carrier

Accident Investigation Kit

  • Digital Camera and memory cards
  • Notebook and pens/pencils
  • Tape measure/ruler
  • Digital voice recorder
  • Extra batteries
  • Laptop computer
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