Training videos can be both effective and fun if you have some imagination and are open to a different approach. The safety and security video that Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois, recently developed proves that point. The video recently was awarded a Telly Award in the 35th Annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world.

John Acardo

John Acardo

The video, which was created by OC Imageworks, has the serious purpose of educating the staff and students at Kishwaukee College on proper procedures for evacuation or seeking shelter during campus emergencies, but the animated short sneaks in some fun and style while communicating this important information. Campus buildings are rendered as simple line drawings, but structures such as the new student center are easily recognized by their architectural features. Students, faculty and emergency responders are represented by animated versions of the international symbol for a person, and there’s even a brief walk on by a zombie, just to keep things interesting. The video provides a highly creative twist to the safety and security information video, which is too often dismissed as “just another training video.”

While the small college (student population of 11,000) does not have a formal security director (it contracts its safety and security officers through the local Sheriff), the college’s EPiC committee, (Emergency Preparedness and Incident Command) committee was part of the process to develop the video, in addition to John Acardo, Director of Human Resources at Kishwaukee College.


Why did you decide to make this video?

Emergency Preparedness is one of the most overlooked items in a new employee security program. Over the past year we have been automating most of our on boarding activities for new employees and with a turnover of 100+ adjunct instructors every year, we needed a way to quickly capture their attention in a fun and entertaining way to make sure our staff is ready for emergencies.


Did you have issues in the past with evacuations? 

The concerns that HR had when formulating our new security program was to find a way to make sure all new employees got the basics of training, but to also produce something that would engage our current employees to “want to learn” about emergency preparedness. 


What elements did you want in the video? What did it absolutely need to have in it?

OC Imageworks has a group of talented individuals that took creative license to make our policies and procedures come to life in a captivating way. We needed to make sure that employees understood the basics of what to do in two of the most common emergencies: tornadoes and fire. Additionally, it provides employees a way to know where to look for more information and how to respond during an emergency.


How is the video disseminated?

Viewing the video is part of our mandatory training for all new employees through our automated on boarding system. We have also posted on our employee Intranet site and also showed it at our Board meeting and at the request of some departments in their divisional meetings.


Do you have plans to make any other safety and security videos?

We’ve recruited OC Imageworks to produce a few additional videos for employee learning at on boarding involving   anti-
harassment and non-discrimination training; however we plan on continuing to budget for the development of videos on other emergency responses directed towards senior management as they have more responsibilities during an emergency.


What advice would you give to other campus security executives if they want to make a security and safety video?

It’s the most important thing you can do.  Make it fun and captivating because it does stick with people.  Using this approach will assist in having a retention of knowledge so that employees can be better prepared to respond to any emergency. To view the award-winning video, please visit: