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PACE trustee meeting recap: Trustees commend PACE staff for UCC crisis assistance

In their December meeting, the Property and Casualty Coverage for Education (PACE) trustees heard first-hand how PACE staff provided support to Umpqua Community College (UCC) in the wake of the tragedy that unfolded on Oct. 1, 2015.

OSBA Director of Communications Tricia Yates told trustees how PACE set up a “command center” to provide an “immediate, substantial, collaborative effort to support our member [UCC].” With PACE’s far-reaching contacts and the infrastructure of Oregon School Public Relations Association (OSPRA) colleagues available to call on in the time of need, PACE was able to draw in important partners, including eleven public information officers (PIOs) from around the state. These eleven PIOs assisted on-site in Roseburg Oct. 1-12, 2015. Additional PIOs helped remotely.

OSBA also dispatched Communications Specialist Alex Pulaski to Roseburg to provide on-site assistance directly to UCC Interim President Rita Cavin and her staff. Pulaski helped to shape the president’s responses to reporters, which were used in articles such as this one from the Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/10/umpqua_community_college_leade.html.

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PACE’s crisis response support continues. In the weeks following the UCC tragedy, PACE has teamed up with the I Love U Guys Foundation and local law enforcement officers to provide PACE members with a set of new Emergency Response materials* (login required) and Standard Response Protocol (SRP) trainings.

OSBA Director of Litigation Kate Wilkinson also stated that since bringing on her two new attorneys as PACE legal counsel, she feels that confidence in PACE staff is up – and growing.

PACE Claims Manager Geoff Sinclair – who also provided on-site assistance to UCC – added that staff involvement with members each step of the way is invaluable to members, because it helps to head off legal problems and therefore lessens claims.

After hearing the report on PACE’s assistance to UCC, PACE Trustee Chair Phil Wentz said, “PACE staff are doing a great job.”

Wentz was on the Business Review Committee, along with trustees Sharla Andresen (Central Oregon CC) and Craig Prewitt (Phoenix-Talent SD), who agreed, “It was a very positive review” for PACE staff.

*PACE would like to extend a special thanks to the City of Salem Police Department and Sergeant Brandon Ditto for their partnership in developing specific responses related to active violent intruder instances.