Fire Safety & Emergency Management

Spotlight on Manager Mark Widmeyer

As the Manager for Fire Safety, Mark reports to the Director of Campus Police, and is the senior fire safety individual on campus. Mark is accountable for the development, management, delivery, and enforcement of effective programs, encompassing fire safety, fire safety planning, fire and related emergency training, as well as the effective management of the Fire Safety unit. 

Mark ensures that all groups on campus are aware of their responsibilities under the Ontario Fire Code and the team acts as the liaison between Western, the City of London, and Emergency Planning Departments on related matters.  Mark interacts on all levels within the University on fire safety matters, develops fire safety plans for all buildings, and ensures testing and inspections are completed in accordance with Fire Code legislation. 

Additionally, Mark manages resources, leads and directs the work of the team and outside contractors, coaches and trains staff, while ensuring that appropriate controls are in place to manage risks. Mark also provides comprehensive consultation on a variety of processes to ensure the University community is served effectively.   

Seeing the level of dedication and genuine care the Western emergency staff exhibits, is what makes Mark’s work enjoyable and rewarding. 

The most challenging part of Mark’s role has to do with the large number and various types of buildings Western owns, both on and off campus that need to be kept safe.  

Each building requires unique testing, inspection, maintenance, and fire safety requirements based on occupancy type and the varied life safety systems installed. These obstacles are overcome by using all of the resources available to our team here at Western, and through collaborative relationships with all other departments throughout campus. 

We have roughly 500 volunteer Building Emergency Team members who act as Ambassadors on behalf of Western during building evacuations. We also rely heavily on our strong relationships with external partners that include the London Fire Department, and our approved external testing contractors.  It truly is a full team effort at a place like Western to ensure all of our responsibilities are met. 

Mark says, “It is so important for the Campus Community to be informed about fire safety requirements and initiatives.  If information is easy to find and made accessible for everyone, we have a better chance of reaching the largest possible audience. Fire Safety is truly a team effort and the more people that are informed about our processes and initiatives, the better chance we have for successful outcomes”.