Emergency Incident Internal Review
The University of Idaho has completed an internal review of the rocket fuel explosion that occurred on the Moscow campus on April 13, 2017. An ad hoc internal committee was appointed by the Office of Public Safety and Security at the request of Dan Ewart, vice president of infrastructure.
The incident has been ruled an accident by law enforcement and by the university. As such, the task force’s job was not to review the specifics of this one incident but rather look at the policies and procedures as they pertain to this event, in an effort to help prevent such an incident from happening again. The task force submitted a final report to university officials and it has been approved by President Chuck Staben.
The task force report provides observations and 14 recommendations for enhancing and improving university safety and emergency response practices and policies and closing identified gaps. The task force, made up of 12 UI employees appointed because of their areas of expertise, reviewed five specific areas:
- Risk management
- Emergency Management
- Crisis Communication
- Student Affairs
Each subcommittee completed an independent assessment within the assigned area. The five separate reports were compiled into one document which will serve as a guide for improvement and/or clarity of policies, incident response and procedures surrounding student clubs.
This review was not intended to assess blame. No laws were broken and no policies were willfully violated. No student or employee disciplinary action is contemplated at this time.
The explosion did lead to the serious injury of four students. Thanks to quick and effective response by those on scene as well as the Moscow Police Department and the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance, the injured students were quickly transported to the hospital and the scene secured. Quality medical care at Gritman Medical Center led to what is expected to be a complete recovery for all four students.
Those tasked in the report with reviewing and revising specific policies and procedures have already begun their work. Any changes will be implemented by fall 2017.