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Keeping Safe in a Campus Emergency


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>> What you're about to learn in the next few minutes could save your life.

>> It's happened again for the third time in five months.

[ Music ]

>> Hello I'm Brad Brinkley, and today we're reviewing the campus emergency operations plan.

The plan is legally authorized by campus policy and board resolutions.

Failure to follow or preventing another person from following the lawful instructions of campus personnel and first responders are grounds for disciplinary actions according to campus policy and the code of student conduct.

Instructors, staff, and administrators are expected to set an example and defer to instructions given by the College Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

In an actual emergency, CERT members relay critical instruction from the incident commander, the person in charge or the first responders, the fire fighters or police officers.

During an emergency, if it is safe to do so, and only if it is safe to do so, take your personnel belongings, car keys, etc., and put away sensitive material.

You may not be allowed back into the building.

But remember, no material possession is worth your safety or your life.

Keeping your personal items secured but quickly accessible will result in a faster evacuation.

If an evacuation is necessary, you must exit quickly and move at least feet from the buildings.

Remember, you're trying to stay clear of falling objects and explosions.

If the building is several stories high, or there's a chance for an explosion,

you must move more than feet away from the building.

Be sure to follow instructions from CERT members of first responders.

Do not reenter a building until CERT members or first responders advise it is safe to reenter.

During an emergency, look for anyone needing assistance and always ask permission before providing assistance.

You can contact the Disabilities Service Office to review instructions for safely planning or assisting students with disabilities in case of an emergency.

For planning or assisting staff or faculty with disabilities, you can contact your Human Resources office.

During evacuations, the fire department currently advises people not to carry individuals with disabilities down stairs.

And of course, never use an elevator during a fire.

In an evacuation from upper floors, if the elevators are unavailable, the fire department recommends that you assist people with physical disabilities to the nearest accessible stairwell, preferably near elevators so first responders can override the elevator's fire mode if it is safe to do so.

You may also assist the individual to a visible spot out of the traffic flow.

Remember the description and location of the person you assisted.

Immediately send someone or go down the stairs and locate a first responder or CERT member who can relay the information to the incident commander, who will then dispatch first responders to the individual's location.

The fire department states that well-meaning individuals may cause injury or death to themselves or to their disabled friend if they attempt an untrained rescue.

>> Attention, attention.

This is a [inaudible] shelter exercise.

Stay calm.

Do not leave the building.

>> When given instructions to shelter in place, first and foremost, remain calm.

Do not exit the building.

Notify persons in your area to quickly get away from the perimeter of the building and exterior glass.

Close doors to all room with perimeter walls and exterior glass.

The nature of the incident will determine whether individuals will be instructed to remain in the interior space on their floor, or move to another location if one is available.

A hazardous chemical spill near the campus is an example of a shelter in place scenario.

If you discover smoke or a fire, remember the RACE acronym.

Relocate. If it is safe to do so, relocate yourself and others in immediate danger.

Instruct others to report to one of the gathering areas as you leave the building.

Be aware of persons who may need assistance.

Alarm. Pull the building fire alarm to alert others.

Move to a safe location.

Using a cell phone, call immediately, then contact a CERT member to report the precise location of the fire.

Confine. Close all doors, windows, and other openings to confine the fire.

In campus areas such as chemistry or pottery labs, shut off fuel sources such as pipe gases and compressed gas cylinders as you evacuate, if this can be done safely.

Evacuate. Evacuate the building.

Only use fire extinguishers on small fires.

Never turn your back to a fire.

And keep a clear exit between you and the fire at all times.

Lift the extinguisher by the bottom handle with one handle.

The bottom handle will not activate the extinguisher.

Most extinguishers have a plastic tab around the handle.

Grasp the tab, pull and twist to break free.

Follow the PASS acronym.

Pull. Pull the pin or ring.

Aim. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

Approach the fire and stop about eight feet away.

Squeeze. Squeeze or press the handles together.

Sweep. Sweep the nozzle slowly from side to side, aiming at the base of the fire.

Continue to use the extinguisher until it is empty and then exit to a safe location.

As always, any type of fire must be reported.

Call on a district phone, or central district dispatch at --.

>> It's happened again for the third time in five months.

>> Experts on youth crime say as young people become more violent, it's no surprise that violence is finding its way to school.

>> If any violent criminal action occurs, call on a campus phone if possible.

Calling from a campus phone will provide emergency responders with details about your location.

If a campus phone is unavailable, use any available phone and dial campus police central dispatch at --.

The main thing to remember in this type of incident is to remain calm.

All intervention with criminal activity is the responsibility and duty of campus police officers and local law enforcement.

In fact, there have been many incidents involving weapons where an off-duty officer chooses not to act due to the possibility they could be shot by a responding officer mistakenly identifying him as a suspect.

Circumstances dictate the decisions made by individuals who respond to the incident.

No uniform policy can be made for all situations which may arise.

The need to evacuate may be the best decision in one set of circumstances, while shelter in place may be more effective in another set of circumstances.

If immediate harm is not present, leave the area and advise others to leave the location as quickly as possible.

Call on a campus phone or -- on your cell phone.

If conditions present immediate harm as in the case of an active shooter, go to a location that places as many walls and barriers between you and the event as possible.

In most situations, everyone should take shelter behind locked doors and barricaded rooms.

Developing a situational awareness is vital in order for you to make the best informed decision during such an event.

In other words, what would I do if I were caught in this room during an incident?

As you enter a room, try bringing as many people as you can into the room.

Don't be that individual in the science fiction movie who runs ahead of everyone else and locks the bulkhead door behind them, locking everyone else out.

Everyone will remember that person.

Once you and others are locked in a barricaded room, do not open the door for anyone, even if they are begging.

If you open the door, the suspect simply has more victims.

When you get into the room, turn out the lights and close any window blinds.

Be sure and silence your cell phones.

Even vibrate mode is too loud with many cell phones.

You don't want your unique ringtone or loud vibrate mode to sound off at the worst possible moment.

The campus police should have keys to all the doors.

To make sure a person on the other side of the door is a police officer, call on a campus phone or -- on your cell phone to give your location and confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door.

If you encounter a police officer or officers during an incident, follow their instructions immediately.

An officer who you talk to every day may not recognize you during an emergency situation.

He or she will be more focused on your hands and your actions than your face.

The best action to take when encountering an officer during a violent incident is to put your hands on your head unless instructed to do otherwise.

If you find yourself out in the open during a violent situation, keep moving until you find an open room, and then lock or barricade yourself in the room.

Some people who have found themselves in the open during a violent incident have survived by playing dead.

However, this only works after the shooting starts.

Also, if there are no moving victims.

Suspects have been known to look around for more victims.

Lastly, and as a last resort, you can fight back.

Several cases involved individuals who were caught in the open with no exit.

They fought back and overpowered the suspect.

However, people have also been killed or seriously injured when fighting a suspect.

You need to decide before an incident occurs as to how you will react in that type of situation.

It is an individual decision and should not be taken lightly.

Again, fighting back should be an action of last resort.

There are two types of lockdowns, police activity lockdown, and intruder lockdown.

A police activity lockdown occurs when the location has been notified of a potential threat outside of the building.

An intruder lockdown is when a threat or intruder is inside the building.

The reason we use the term intruder lockdown is because the suspects might be using a weapon other than a firearm.

Since most campus locations are too large to completely lockdown all outside doors in a timely manner, individuals will take the same steps in both types of lockdown scenarios.

You should go to a room or area that places as many walls and barriers between you and the event as possible.

Shelter behind locked doors or barricaded rooms.

Lockdown instructions will be sent out by an electronic message and/or CERT members.

If you hear or see something that makes you believe an incident might be occurring, act accordingly until you confirm otherwise.

If you observe anyone acting suspiciously or in a restricted area, call on a campus phone, or call -- on your cell phone.

If you encounter a medical emergency, call on a campus phone, or call -- on your cell phone.

Be sure to describe your location and the type of medical emergency.

Initiate life-saving measures if required, and you are trained to do so.

Do not move injured persons unless they are in danger of further harm.

Keep the injured person warm.

Remain with the victim until medical help arrives.

Designate a person to meet emergency personnel when they arrive and escort them to the location.

In severe weather, remember to heed all warnings.

If you receive a severe weather warning, quickly move away from the perimeter of the building and exterior glass.

If you're outside, move to a fixed building, or if the threat is eminent, try to find a ditch.

Campus locations have areas with interior walls and no glass.

These areas are marked with signs saying tornado safer zone.

They glow in the dark for quick identification during an emergency.

During inclement weather, always check the news or the campus website on days in which the weather might be a factor, like in freezing rain.

Safety hazards include trip and fall hazards, fire hazards, unsafe construction areas, and much more.

Safety hazards should immediately be reported to facilities.

Any injuries or exposure to a hazardous substance or body fluids should be reported to campus health center.

Many people do not realize the North Texas sits on a fault line.

In earthquakes, a large percentage of people are injured or killed trying to exit or enter a building.

If an earthquake occurs, try to get under heavy furniture or stay inside framed openings.

Also, stay clear of heavy objects that might fall.

If you're outside, stay outside and clear of falling objects.

Like most people, you probably know of ways to cope with stress.

But if you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious, seeing a college counselor can help you find practical solutions to personal or academic problems.

Also, encourage someone you know to check out the services if they're getting stressed out.

On most campuses, counseling faculty or other professional counselors are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis.

Counselor's officers are located in either instructional divisions or in advising and counseling centers.

Finally, if you know of someone in the campus community who is an immediate threat to their own safety or the safety of others, call from any campus phone, or -- on any available phone.

We've covered a lot of information today.

A few points to remember.

Never panic.

Stay safe.

And review your location's emergency operation plans posted in classrooms and on the campus websites.

Knowing what action to take before an emergency occurs increases your odds of staying safe and may save your life.