“Who you gonna call?” The Emergency Center is available 24/7 for all Ghent University staff members and students

(11-06-2021) In an emergency, you can contact them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: the emergency center of Ghent University. The need does not always have to be great - they are also ready for less urgent problems. Who are they and what can you contact them for?

24/7, urgent or less urgent

Everyone knows the number 112. But is the internal number 88 also etched in your memory? That's fine, because it is the emergency number of the Emergency Center, the internal security service of Ghent University. All Ghent University staff and students can go there in case of emergency: fire, medical emergencies, flooding, being stuck in the elevator, bomb threats, and so on. Yet it goes much further: the staff of the Emergency Center can also help you with a lot of other, less urgent matters.

Urgent help? Call (09 264 88) 88

Less urgent help? Call (09 264) 71 25

Everything 'not normal'

So what are those other things? Geert Van de Merckt, coordinator of the Emergency Center, explains: “You can report anything that makes you think 'this is not normal'. That is very broad. Are you concerned about changing behavior in a colleague? Do you notice suspicious behavior in the bicycle shed, is a car parked in front of an emergency exit, does the elevator make a strange noise,…? Call us and we'll see what we can do. You can also call us once you get home and realize that the coffee maker is still on or if you have suffered damage to one of our car parks.”

More than 20 years of experience

The Emergency Center has been around for more than twenty years and therefore has a lot of experience with all kinds of problems.Geert Van de Merckt

“Over the years we have developed many procedures that allow us to provide immediate assistance in many cases. If we cannot help ourselves, we will at least put you in touch with the right service, both internally and externally.” (Geert Van de Merckt, Emergency Center Coordinator)

Despite all that experience, a new problem crops up every year. Geert: “This year, for example, vandals have caused damage in the Botanic Garden. Then we look for ways to better protect the Botanic Garden, but at the same time we ask ourselves the question: how can we reconcile that with the task of Ghent University to open the garden to the public?”

What are the roles of the staff members of the Emergency Center

Who are the people behind the Ghent University emergency center? The staff consists of four groups: the PerC staff members, the supporting colleagues, the team of mobile agents and the caretakers.

  • There are six PerC'ers. You can reach them when you call the Emergency Center. They also handle everything that comes in via Atlas, the monitoring system. Thanks to a shift system, they are active day and night, including on Sundays and public holidays.
  • The supporting colleagues are four and offer logistical and administrative support. They keep everything running.
  • The third group consists of 13 mobile agents. They guard Ghent University's buildings, all together more than a million square meters, and assist during interventions.
  • The fourth group are the 28 caretakers. These are Ghent University staff members who, in addition to their regular day job at our university, take on a task as 'concierge'. They are also responsible for openings and closures and sometimes carry out targeted checks.

Emergency Center is more than surveillance

So of course you can go to the Emergency Center in case of any emergency. But you can actually call in any situation where you don't know what to do. “We are a collection point for reports of problems. If we can't help, we can at least refer you to the right agency."

More information on the Security Department and Emergency Center