Training for the Unexpected

Cindy Campbell

A recent sunny, southern California Friday afternoon that should have been a typical last day of the winter academic term turned out to be anything but at Cal Poly State University. A passerby discovered the body of a young man (later identified as a first-year student) in a vehicle parked in a busy campus parking lot. The tragedy was an apparent suicide by over-exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas. The young man had taken steps intended to keep others safe, posting signs on the inside of his vehicle windows that warned of the chemical. Along with police officers, members of our parking staff were on scene to keep pedestrians and vehicles a safe distance from the work of the hazardous materials team. It was a challenging task, as students were trying to pack their cars and leave campus for spring break.

When something like this happens, we naturally reflect on thoughts of our own families and hope to never experience such personal tragedy. We feel sadness and sympathy for both the victim and their family. On this occasion, another thought occurred to me, and it’s the purpose of this post: what if one of our parking employees initially came upon the situation? Would they have understood the potential dangers involved? Would they have reacted instinctively and opened the car door in an attempt to help the young man? We provide training on a wide variety of topics to our parking staff, but understanding and recognizing hazardous chemicals isn’t one of the topics we’ve covered in the past decade. Is it a standard training topic for your program?

Eight Questions About Security

Bob Harkins

When safety and security of a parking lot or facility was mentioned before September 11, 2001, many rolled their eyes and yawned.  Since that unforgettable day, the concept and actions in parking security have taken on a new dimension. We all have a dog in the hunt.  So where do we begin?  Let’s start at the extreme and work back to the day-to-day.

  1. Terrorism: The greatest threat to our lots and facilities is an act of terrorism from a vehicle bomb. Parking facilities are often very attractive to people who wish to do us harm. Our facilities and lots are in key locations to do damage. What can we do?  IPI has partnered with the First Observer Program to train parking professionals on what to look for and what to do. In short, if it doesn’t look right report it! Our employees need to be the eyes and ears for bad people trying to do bad things. If you want training for your staff, click here. It’s free. More than 8,000 parking professionals are now First Observers. Are you?
  2. Basic Safety: We all need to walk our lots and facilities in daylight and at night.  How do you feel? Certainly lighting is a critical factor. Better ideas?
  3. Cameras: Most believe that if you have cameras, there is an expectation that they are monitored. If they are not, there should be signs to indicate that the cameras are for management purposes.
  4. Elevators and Stairways: The use of glass and openness has helped significantly with the feeling of security. Closed-in spaces can create fear and concern.  What are best ideas and practices?
  5. Entrances: Restrict pedestrian flow into a facility to specific pathways that can be observed or filmed. Watch shrubbery and bushes that can hide attackers. Some facilities have wire mesh screens to prevent access in areas other than designated entrances.
  6. Lighting: What is the proper or best lighting level for parking lots and facilities?  What are the most cost-efficient types of lights?
  7. Panic or “Blue Light” Buttons: Are they useful?  Buttons with two-way communications or just call technology? With the prevalence of cell phones, some facilities are re-thinking the need. What is your stance?
  8. Bus Stops: How do we protect and secure bus stops and reduce waiting time? Will mobile technology and GIS capability on transit vehicles provide real-time information about arrivals and delays?

What other questions should we be asking and what answers can you share?

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Bruce Barclay, CAPP

Bruce Barclay

Bruce Barclay, CAPP, is operations manager, parking & shuttle services, with the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. He is co-chair of IPI’s Safety and Security Committee and a member of IPI’s Membership Committee.

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Bridgette Brady, CAPP

Bridgette Brady

Bridgette Brady, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation services at Washington State University and the president of the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association. She serves on the IPI Advisory Council, State and Regional Associations Committee, and the Sustainability Committee.

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Wanda Brown

Wanda Brown

Wanda Brown is assistant manager for Parking & Transportation Services at the University of California Davis Health System. She is a member of the IPI Board of Directors and the IPI Advisory Council, and co-chairs the IPI Membership Committee.

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L. Dennis Burns, CAPP

L. Dennis Burns

L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, is senior practice builder and regional vice president with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. He is a columnist and frequent contributor to The Parking Professional magazine. He serves on the IPI Advisory Council, the Professional Development Task Force, and the Parking Program/Accreditation Task Force.

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T.J. Cantwell

TJ Cantwell

TJ Cantwell is membership director of the International Parking Institute.

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Shawn Conrad, CAE

Shawn Conrad

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is executive director of the International Parking Institute.

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Kathleen Federici, M.Ed.

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Kathleen Federici, M.Ed., is director of professional development of the International Parking Institute.

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Dave Feehan

Dave Feehan

Dave Feehan is president and CEO of Civitas Consultants LLC and former president of the International Downtown Association. He is a member of IPI’s Accreditation Committee and a frequent contributor to various professional journals. He is working on a new book, Design Downtown for Women – Men will Follow.

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Kim Fernandez

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Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional magazine.

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Frank L. Giles

Frank L. Giles

Frank L. Giles is parking director at the Georgia International Convention Center and serves on the IPI Advisory Council, Conference Program Committee, and Safety/Security Committee.

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Doug Holmes, CAPP

Doug Holmes

Doug Holmes, CAPP, is interim director, Transportation, Penn State – Retired. He serves on the IPI Advisory Council, is Co-Chair of the Professional Certification/CAPP Committee, and a member of the Professional Development Task Force.

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Christina Onesirosan Martinez, MBA MCIM

Christina Onesirosan Martinez

Christina Onesirosan Martinez, MBA MCIM, is marketing director at Parkopedia, where she is responsible for the company’s global marketing operations. She serves on IPI’s International Outreach Committee.

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Casey Jones, CAPP

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Casey Jones, CAPP is vice president of institutional services at SP Plus. He is IPI’s immediate past chair and serves on the IPI Advisory Council, IPI Scholars/Fellows Task Force, and the Professional Development Task Force.

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Isaiah Mouw, CAPP

Isaiah Mouw

Isaiah Mouw, CAPP, LEED Green Associate, is a vice president for Municipal Citation Solutions, at Republic Parking Systems. He serves on the IPI Advisory Council, Sustainability Committee, and Parking Matters® Committee.

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Jeff Petry

Jeff Petry

Jeff Petry manages the City of Eugene’s on-street and off-street parking system. He serves on the IPI Advisory Council and the Sustainability Committee.

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Bill Smith

Bill Smith

Bill Smith, principal at Smith Phillips Strategic Communications, is a public relations and marketing strategy professional specializing in parking.  He writes a column for The Parking Professional.

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Helen Sullivan

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Helen Sullivan is IPI’s communications counsel.

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Patrick Troy

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Patrick Troy is chief executive of the British Parking Association.

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Bonnie Watts, CEM

Bonnie Watts

Bonnie Watts, CEM, is vice president of sales of the International Parking Institute.

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Paul Wessel

paul_wessel

Paul Wessel is executive director of the Green Parking Council. He previously served as director of traffic and parking for the City of New Haven, Conn., as well as a board member of the New Haven Parking Authority and the Greater New Haven Transit District.

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Brett Wood, CAPP

Brett Wood

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is a parking and transportation planner with Kimley-Horn and Associates. He serves on the IPI Advisory Council, Awards of Excellence Committee, and the Parking Matters® Committee.

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Mark Wright

Mark Wright

Mark Wright is the executive director of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT).

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