Virginia Tech™home

Frequently Asked Questions

Building emergency coordinator


  1. What is the BEC program?
  2. Who is the BEC program for?
  3. What are the BEC emergency responsibilities?
  4. What are the BEC routine responsibilities?
  5. What training opportunities are available for BECs?
  6. Who do I contact with additional questions?

What is the BEC program?

The Building Emergency Coordinator program was established during the 2011 Emergency Action Plan (EAP) revision. Because the university’s buildings are largely occupied by more than one department, preparedness coordination among the departmental stakeholders is necessary. Additionally, first responders expressed the desire to have a single point of contact with whom to coordinate departmental communications during a building evacuation.

Building Emergency Coordinators are the primary interface between first responder agencies and the departmental building occupants. During a building evacuation the Virginia Tech Police Department, Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, and Blacksburg Fire Department will look to Building Emergency Coordinator to provide a conduit for communication and technical expertise within the building.

Who is the BEC program for?

All campus buildings which are normally occupied will identify a Building Emergency Coordinator. A Building Emergency Coordinator is generally a person who works in the building during normal operating hours, has a general understanding of building activities, and whose department occupies a majority of space within the building.

What are the BEC emergency responsibilities?

  • Don your vest and backpack.
  • Remain calm. Do not rush or panic.
  • Communicate with Floor/Area Wardens and/or Emergency Preparedness Committee members.
  • Meet the first responders near the door closest to the fire control panel.
  • Communicate unusual circumstances including individuals with disabilities who may be seeking refuge within the building.
  • Location of emergency, if known.
  • Do not re-enter the building unless authorized by first responders.
  • Consider door guards.
  • Use your BEC Operations Guide as a checklist.

What are the BEC routine responsibilities?

  • Updating the plan.
  • Convene the Emergency Preparedness Committee annually or as needed.
  • Maintain building awareness.
  • Evacuation assembly area locations.
  • Renovations and coordinating revision of evacuation route maps.
  • New or changing building hazards.
  • Facililitating the EAP in the building by following emergency procedures outlines in the plan and by coordinating the maintenance of the plan in collaboration with the building’s Emergency Preparedness Committee. 
  • Coordinating annual fire drills.

What training opportunities are available for BECs?

Emergency Management offers an Annual BEC Training every summer. All BECs and ABECs currently on record with Emergency Management will be notified when registration for the training opens.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

If you have additional questions pertaining to the Virginia Tech Building Emergency Coordinator Program, contact the Office of Emergency Management at or 540-231-4873.


BEC Frequently Asked Questions 

Review some of our most-asked questions about the role of a BEC.

BEC Operations Guide

BEC Operations Guide 

Download and print the full guide to a BEC's roles and responsibilities.

Building emergency coordinator symposium

BEC Annual

Learn more about the yearly training opportunities for BECs and ABECs.