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Chauncey’s Champion Someone making a difference.

Two heads are better than one: Fire inspector and transportation dispatcher keep students warm during fire alarm

by Nicole Pippo Bookmark and Share
As fire inspector for CCU, Ryan researches fire safety programs to use on campus. When he traveled from CCU to Indiana for the Fire and Life Safety Conference, he was surprised to see a familiar sight – a fire truck on display from his hometown in Ashland, Ky.
As fire inspector for CCU, Ryan researches fire safety programs to use on campus. When he traveled from CCU to Indiana for the Fire and Life Safety Conference, he was surprised to see a familiar sight – a fire truck on display from his hometown in Ashland, Ky.

On Dec. 12, 2018, a cold morning during finals week, students asleep in Dogwood Hall were quickly awakened by the screeches of a fire alarm at 6:30 a.m. In minutes, fire trucks, police cars and ambulances surrounded The Woods residence halls.

Earlier that morning, Public Safety alerted Ryan Rose, fire inspector at CCU, that students in one room reported smelling and seeing smoke. When Rose smelled the smoke upon arrival, he pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out and notified the fire department.

“At that point, I didn’t really know what was going on,” said Rose. “It was the first cold night and that means a lot of HVAC issues happen due to dust burning off the ducts.”

To indicate just how caught off guard by the situation the students were, Rose said several students asked him before leaving the building if it was safe to quickly retrieve their shoes from their rooms before going outside.
“I was already freezing out there, and I didn’t know how long we would be out there or how bad the situation was in the building.” Rose acted quickly and decided to call Public Safety to tell Transportation Services that buses were needed at The Woods so students could warm up.

Meanwhile, Hans Weigand, shuttle dispatcher for Transportation Services, had already gotten a call from the Night Ride shuttle notifying him about fire engines and ambulances on Township Circle on campus, along with students gathered outside.

He’s always on campus at 6 a.m. because the first shuttles of the morning leave at 6:30. The shuttles from University Place begin picking up students at 7 a.m., so it was a close call for Weigand. However, he was able to call five buses to campus for students to board and stay warm while the building was assessed for a fire, then cleared.

“It was something that I had to do,” said Weigand. “It was part of my job to link all of that together immediately.”

The students were outside in the cold for about 10 minutes. The residents sat on the buses that were parked near Dogwood Hall for 45 minutes. From the time the fire alarm was pulled to the point where the building was deemed safe to enter, the episode lasted an hour and a half total.

“This incident shows how all of the departments at Coastal work together for that same common goal of supporting our students in any way possible,” said Rose.

Stephen “Steve” Harrison, vice president of auxiliary enterprises at CCU, submitted Rose and Weigand as Chauncey’s Champions because they “thought clearly and abstractly to move around their resources” during this emergency situation. Although their paths rarely cross, Rose and Weigand went above and beyond their job duties that morning.

“They are Chauncey’s Champions because they utilized the resources available to them to provide service far beyond what is expected to ensure our students were safe and able to focus on their primary goal of being students,” Harrison said.

Rose moved to Myrtle Beach from his hometown in Greenup County, Ky., after his undergraduate studies. He earned both an undergraduate degree in fire and safety engineering technology and a master’s degree in safety, security and emergency management from Eastern Kentucky University.

He joined the CCU faculty in 2013 as a fire inspector. He conducts annual fire inspections in every building on main campus and east campus and reviews plans of new facilities. Fire prevention efforts are what drive him every day to ensure that students, faculty and staff at CCU have a safe place to study, live and work.

Every three years, the South Carolina fire code is updated, and Rose has to study the new changes and make sure the University is up to code. CCU averages around four fires on campus a year, which mainly occur in University Housing as a result of cooking. Rose remembers one major fire that caused damage to one building in University Place since he has been at CCU.

“I want to see my community be strong and grow, and not see any setbacks happen that are preventable,” he said.

Originally from New Jersey, Weigand has been a commercial driver for 27 years. He and his wife, Cathy, moved to Myrtle Beach in 2006. Weigand joined the CCU family in 2014 and worked as a shuttle driver for two years. In his current position as CCU’s transportation dispatcher, Weigand schedules driver shifts, coordinates the transportation of sports teams to away games, and ensures buses are always running the appropriate routes.

“Our main goal is to serve the students of this University by making sure they get to class and making sure they have the transportation they need,” Weigand said. “I enjoy knowing at the end of the day that we did our best.”
Weigand values having a positive attitude in his job. Every day he faces different challenges that have to do with meeting the needs of drivers, students and coaches. He avoids pressure and stress by solving the problems as quickly as possible.

“[Rose and Weigand] both provide critical services to our campus in their roles in Transportation Services and Fire Safety, respectively,” said Harrison. “Rose is an expert in a very specialized field who does a good job communicating with staff who may not know as much about fire safety about the services they provide. Weigand brings years of experience from the transportation industry that help our students and community get around campus and beyond.”

Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. View all the Chauncey’s Champions at coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php.
 

Related Photos

Ryan and Carrie have two Cocker Spaniels. Mahoney (left) and Hooks (right) are named after the characters in the movie “Police Academy.”  When he is not working, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife, Carrie. As fire inspector for CCU, Ryan researches fire safety programs to use on campus. When he traveled from CCU to Indiana for the Fire and Life Safety Conference, he was surprised to see a familiar sight – a fire truck on display from his hometown in Ashland, Ky. Hans works closely with shuttle drivers to coordinate bus routes and shifts. Hans is pictured with fellow coworkers and CDL shuttle drivers Jennifer Hardwick (left) and Jamie Hill Ellis (right). Hans enjoys spending time with his family during his free time. Hans, his wife, Cathy, and their friends posed for a photo while on vacation the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
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