Illinois officials say Richland Community College in Decatur has become the first such institution in the state to receive the "Ready to Respond Campus" designation.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says Richland received the award Wednesday. It is second only to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign among all colleges to be designated as ready to respond to emergencies.
Richland was among nine campuses that participated in a 2013 pilot of the Ready to Respond Campus program. The initiative is designed to enhance campus safety, emergency preparedness and response efforts.
All colleges and universities may now participate in the voluntary program.
Richland President Gayle Saunders says it's impossible to insulate the campus. So it's important to be prepared to get through an emergency as safely as possible.