Emergency Planning during the Corona Pandemic

NTNU has an emergency response plan for the operational management of fire, accidents, deaths and other emergency incidents. The coronavirus pandemic is an extraordinary, extensive and long-lasting event that also greatly affects the day-to-day operations of the university. Therefore, both the emergency response management and day-to-day management (line managers) have been working to deal with the pandemic.

Norsk side: Beredskap under korona-pandemien

The division of labour can be briefly described as follows:

  • Decisions directly related to handling the pandemic, having to do primarily with infection control measures and contact tracing, are made by the Central Emergency Response Management (SBL), in accordance with the delegated authority in NTNU's emergency response plan.
  • Decisions having to do with infection control and contact tracing that are related to day-to-day, academic and administrative activities are made entirely by the rector and line managers.

Organization of coronavirus management #

The Rector is NTNU's safety officer and the top leader of the coronavirus work, as she is for NTNU's academic and administrative activities. The rector makes decisions in all major and strategically important matters.

The Emergency Response Director (Director of Organization) is delegated the responsibility and authority to handle emergency incidents on behalf of the rector. In consultation with the Rector, she heads the... 

Central Emergency Response Management - SBL (page only available in Norwegian)), which includes handling risk assessments, documentation, communication and coordination related to pandemic management. SBL provides guidelines for how infection control and contact tracing must be handled at NTNU. The line management then ensures that these guidelines are followed in daily operations.

The Council of Deans (page in Norwegian) is an advisory body for the rector in daily operations and is not part of the emergency response organization. During the pandemic, however, coordination meetings between central, on-site (Ålesund and Gjøvik) and local (faculties and units) emergency planning are included as part of the weekly meetings of deans because the deans and vice-rectors are also emergency response leaders. This saves meeting time and streamlines work.

On-site / local emergency response management: Handles coronavirus-related matters at faculties and departments, such as risk assessments, implementation of local measures and communication to own units. The emergency response management is led by the dean or unit leader (local emergency planning) and the vice-rectors (on-site emergency planning in Gjøvik and Ålesund).

Administrative coordination group (in Norwegian only): Works as local emergency response management for the administrative departments in the administration that are most involved in COVID-19 management. The group has been established to be able to quickly follow up, clarify and pass on decisions from the rector and SBL that require efforts from several departments. Meetings are chaired by Frank Arntsen, Director of Finance and Property, who reports to Emergency Response Manager Ida Munkeby.

Employee participation in planning and managing coronavirus preparedness is ensured through regular collaborative forums such as the Central cooperation committee (SESAM). During the pandemic, SESAM has increased the frequency of its meetings from every three weeks to almost weekly. Union representatives also have full access to the case documents of the Administrative coordination group.

In addition, several other collaborative forums and short-term project groups have been set up to address specific tasks. Throughout the pandemic, the emergency response management has had weekly collaborative meetings with Trondheim municipality management to handle and decide on coronavirus-related issues that include NTNU. Similarly, the vice-rectors in Gjøvik and Ålesund have regular contact with the emergency response management in those two cities.

Questions or comments about coronavirus emergency preparedness at NTNU?
Contact Senior Advisor Nina Tranø.

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