Provost John Swallow has announced that Kevin Hiers, director of environmental stewardship, will assume a number of additional responsibilities as a safety officer for the University. In doing so he will take up several of the duties that Dr. Gerald Smith, Ayres distinguished professor of religious studies, has long exercised for the benefit of the University and residents. As safety officer, Hiers will oversee, from an institutional perspective, the University’s ability to address emergencies, specifically through the volunteer fire department, the development and maintenance of regular training on activities and roles of both employees and volunteers in incident situations, and, in conjunction with relevant staff, the installation and maintenance of appropriate building and communication systems. In this capacity, his title will be chief of emergency services, and he will report to the provost.
Among Hiers’ additional duties, he will serve as chair of the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department Advisory Board. That board serves a number of functions, including providing proficient fire service to Sewanee and the surrounding area, overseeing policy recommendations to the provost, ensuring budgetary accountability by the fire department, planning for the future of the force and of fire protection in Sewanee, acting as a mediator as needed, integrating the force into Photo courtesy of Sewanee.edu the University and the community, and overseeing the application of relevant federal regulations. He will also serve on local governmental and other boards, on an as-needed basis. This appointment will be fully effective July 1, 2016. Hiers and Smith will work closely in transitioning these duties over the remainder of this year.