Services & Resources > Police & Safety > Staying Safe in a College Emergency

Staying Safe in a College Emergency

Transcript​

HOST:  What you're about to learn in the next few minutes could save your life and the lives of those around you.  Hello, I'm Markus Lloyd and today we're reviewing the Dallas County Community College District's Emergency  Procedures.

The information presented to you in this video will provide students, faculty, staff, and administrators with the specific procedures to follow when confronted with an emergency situation on your campus.

HOST:   The following safety procedures have been legally authorized by District Policy, Board Resolutions and the Code of Student Conduct.  Failure to follow these procedures, or preventing other individuals from following the instructions of college personnel and first responders, are grounds for disciplinary actions.

HOST:  Employees are expected to set an example and defer to any instructions given to them by First Responders or the College Emergency Response Team – also known as CERT.  In an actual emergency, CERT members from your college relay critical instruction from their Incident Commander or first responders. Following the instructions of CERT members will allow you a much better chance at keeping safe during the emergency.

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HOST:  During an emergency, if it is safe to do so, and only if it is safe to do so, take your personal belongings like your car keys or purse, and put away any sensitive material in your office.  You might not be allowed back into the building.

But remember, no material possession is worth your safety or your life. If violence is occurring, leave your personal belongings behind.

HOST:  If an evacuation order is given, you must exit the building quickly.  And while you're exiting, look for anyone needing assistance and always ask permission before helping them. After you exit, move at least one hundred feet from the building. By moving one hundred feet away you will stay clear of emergency personnel and falling objects. If the building you're evacuating is several stories tall, or if there's a chance for an explosion, you must move more than one hundred feet from the building.  Remember, keep your distance and keep safe!

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HOST:  Emergency situations can occur that will require you to Shelter in Place. A gas leak or a hazardous chemical spill near the college are examples of a Shelter in Place scenario.  When the order has been given to Shelter in Place, first and foremost - remain calm.  Do not exit the building!  Notify persons in your area to quickly get away from exterior walls and windows. Close doors to all rooms with perimeter walls and glass.  The nature of the incident will determine whether you will be instructed to remain inside the space where you are located or move to another location if a safer one is available.

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HOST:  If you discover smoke or a fire, try to remember the RACE acronym, R-A-C-E:

R – Relocate.  If it is safe to do so, relocate yourself and others who are in immediate danger. Instruct everyone to report to one of the gathering areas as you leave the building. And please be aware of any individuals needing additional assistance.

A – Alarm.  Pull the building fire alarm to alert others. Move to a safe location and immediately call 911 on your cell phone.  Next, contact a first responder or CERT member to report the precise location of the fire.

C – Confine.  Close all doors, windows, and other openings to confine the fire.  Shut off any fuel sources such as piped gases or compressed gas cylinders before you evacuate the area. But only do this if you can do it safely.

E – Evacuate.  Leave the building.

HOST:  If the fire happens to be smaller, you might consider using a nearby fire extinguisher.  But remember, never turn your back on a fire and always keep a clear exit between you and the fire.

HOST:  To use the fire extinguisher, lift it by the bottom handle with one hand.  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.

Next, follow the PASS acronym:

P – Pull the pin or ring.

A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.   Approach the fire and stop about 8 feet away.

S – Squeeze or press the handles together.

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

HOST:  Continue using the fire extinguisher until it's empty, then exit to a safe location.  As always, report any type of fire by calling 911 or District Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290.

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HOST:  If any type of violent criminal action occurs, call 911 on a college landline phone if possible. Calling from a college phone will provide emergency responders with details about your exact location. If a college phone isn't available, use any phone and dial College Police Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290. The main thing to remember during a violent incident is to remain calm.  All intervention with criminal activity is the direct responsibility and duty of college 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 that they could accidently be shot by a responding officer mistaking him or her as a possible suspect.

HOST:  Circumstances dictate the actual decisions made by individuals responding 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 locking down may be more effective in another set of circumstances. If no immediate harm is present, leave personal belongings behind and evacuate the area.  Advise others to leave immediately and don't let their indecisions prevent you from leaving.  Finally, when you're a safe distance away, stop others from entering the area and call 911 on a college phone or 972-860-4290 on your cell phone.

HOST:  If conditions present the possibility of 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 move behind locked doors or inside 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 a violent incident?"

HOST:  As you enter a room, try bringing as many people as possible into the room.  Don't be the individual in the science fiction movie who runs ahead of everyone else and locks the bulk head door behind them, locking everyone else out.  Everyone will remember that person. After you get into the room, turn out the lights and close any window blinds.  Be sure to silence all cell phones.  Even "vibrate mode" is too loud on many cell phones. You wouldn't want your unique ring tone or loud vibrate mode to sound off at the worst possible moment.  Once you and others are locked and/or barricaded in a room, do not open the door for anyone, even if they are begging.  If you open the door, the suspect simply has more victims.

HOST:  The college police should have keys to all of the doors.  If you need to make sure a person on the other side of the door is a police officer, quietly call 911 on a college phone or 972- 860-4290 on your cell phone to give your location and confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door. 

Stay in your locked or barricaded room until the police finally enter your room or you receive the "all clear" from the District's emergency notification system.

If you encounter a police officer or officers during an incident, follow all their instructions immediately.  An officer who you know and talk to every day may not recognize you during an actual emergency situation.  He or she will be more focused on your hands and your actions than your face. 

HOST:  The first officers responding are trained not to stop and assist the injured until the environment is completely safe.  Expect arriving officers to be shouting orders in order to take command of the situation.  Officers may find it necessary to push individuals to the ground to ensure everyone's safety.

The best action to take when you encounter an officer during a violent incident is to raise your hands and spread your fingers unless you are instructed to do otherwise.

Do not make any sudden moves when you encounter a police officer during a violent situation.  This includes grabbing your belongings or reaching into pockets.  Try to refrain from yelling, screaming, or pointing. If you find yourself out in the open during an incident, keep moving until you find an open room, then lock or barricade yourself inside.  If no rooms are available, then hiding is a viable option.

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

Lastly, you could fight back!  Several cases of violent criminal action involved innocent bystanders who were caught out in the open without an exit, and fought back. 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 plan to  react in that type of situation.  It is an individual decision and should not be taken lightly.

In most cases , fighting back should be an action of last resort.

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HOST:  There are two types of lockdowns: Police Activity lockdown and an Intruder lockdown.

•   A Police Activity lockdown occurs when the location has been notified of a potential threat located outside of the building.

•   An Intruder lockdown happens when a threat or intruder is actually inside the building or location you are occupying.

HOST:  The reason we use the term "Intruder Lockdown" is because the suspect, or suspects, might be using a weapon other than a firearm.

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

You should go into a room or area that places as many walls and barriers between you and the event as possible.  Shelter behind locked doors or barricade the room.

Lockdown instructions will be sent out by an electronic message to your cell phone, other devices, or directly from a CERT member.  If you hear or see something that makes you believe an incident might be occurring – act accordingly until you confirm otherwise.  Follow orders and stay alert until the "all-clear" has been issued.

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HOST:  If you observe anyone acting suspiciously or if they are inside a restricted area, call 911 on a college phone or call 972-860-4290 on your cell phone.

Separately, if you know someone in the college community who is an immediate threat to themselves or the safety of others call 911.

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HOST:  If you encounter a medical emergency, call 911 on a college phone or call 972-860-4290 on your cell phone.  Be sure to describe your location and the type of medical emergency.  Stay with the person and initiate lifesaving measures if you are trained to do so.

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

Keep the injured person warm and remain with the person until medical help arrives.

Finally, it's always best to designate a person to meet the emergency personnel when they arrive and escort them to the exact location.

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HOST:  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 any exterior glass.  If you are outside, move to a fixed building or if the threat is imminent, try to find a ditch.  College locations have designated areas with interior walls and without glass. These areas are marked with signs saying "Tornado Safer Zone" that glow in the dark for quick identification during an actual emergency. During inclement weather, like snow and freezing rain, check District email and text notifications, the local news, or the District website for any closures or delays.

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HOST:  People living throughout the metroplex might not realize that North Texas sits on a major fault line.  During an earthquake, a large percentage of injuries and deaths occur while trying to exit or enter a building.  If an earthquake occurs, stay inside under heavy furniture and stay clear of any objects that might fall.  If you're outside, stay in the open and clear from any potential falling objects.

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HOST:  Safety hazards include "trip and fall" hazards, fire or chemical hazards, and non-working lights.  Any safety hazards you see on campus should immediately be reported to Facilities.  Any injuries or exposure to a hazardous substance or body fluids should be reported to your college health center.

HOST:  Well, we've covered a lot of very important information in this video today.  The information's sole purpose is to help keep you  safe in the event a college emergency.  However, here are a few key points for you to remember. 

Never panic, stay alert and safe, and periodically review your location's Emergency Procedures that's posted in classrooms and on the District and College websites. Knowing what action to take before an emergency occurs increases your odds of staying safe and may even save your life.  I'm Markus Lloyd, reminding you to Stay Safe!