Emergency Notifications and Procedures

Emergency Notifications

Dallas College Police department will immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.

Emergency/Immediate notification is triggered by an event that is currently occurring on or imminently threatening the campus. Emergency/Immediate notification is in response to a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.

Emergency Notification messages will be issued to students and employees upon the confirmation of a significant emergency, dangerous situation, incident, or crime impacting the Dallas College Community and/or the surrounding area.

Police on each campus will determine:

  • the appropriate segment or segments of the District/specific campus to notify; and
  • the content of the notification

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Dallas College Police Department maintains an Emergency Response Plan that outlines responsibilities of campus units during emergencies. This plan outlines incident priorities, campus organization and specific responsibilities of units or positions.

Dallas College PD units are responsible for developing emergency response and continuity of operations plans for their areas and staff. Campus emergency management liaisons provide resources and guidance for the development of these plans.

Evacuations are signaled by campus alerts through phone systems and mass notifications. Evacuations could be necessary in case of fire, bomb threat, or any other emergency, as deemed appropriate.


  • Incident Commander (IC): The one person in charge during an emergency. The Incident Commander will be the most qualified competent expert present for the incident.
  • College Emergency Response Team (CERT): District employees who have volunteered and received emergency management training. CERT members convey instructions from the IC and operate under the authority of the IC.
  • Intruder Lockdown: Immediate threat at location. Person(s) at location intent on causing harm to others. If not at location, stay clear.
  • Police Activity Lockdown: Potential threat near the location (example: robbery suspect being chased by police in area). If not at location, stay clear.
  • Severe Weather Warning: Immediate threat of severe weather that requires taking immediate cover (example: tornado spotted in location’s area).
  • Shelter-in-Place: Immediate threat of a “noncriminal” nature (examples: hazardous spill outside; gas leak in area; chemical, biological and radiological).
  • Emergency Evacuation: Incident requiring evacuation of the building (example: confirmed or suspected bomb in the building).
  • Campus Closing: Location closing due to weather, power outage, water main break, etc.
  • Inclement Weather: District and campuses closing due to weather.
  • All Clear: This message is sent when the emergency condition is over. Threat or condition no longer exists.


  • Follow instructions from the College Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and/or first responders.
  • If it is safe to do so, take your personal belongings and put away sensitive material. Position all items you will take with you, so they are secure but quickly accessible. Remember: No personal property or location property is worth risking your safety or life.
  • After asking, assist staff or visitors with mobility issues who may need assistance.
  • Keep in mind that you might have to evacuate on foot in certain emergency situations (example: tanker fire blocking a road).

Evacuation at Locations With Multiple Floors

  • During evacuations, the fire department currently advises people not to carry individuals with disabilities downstairs, and, of course, never use an elevator during a fire.
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only if you have had evacuation rescue training or the person is in immediate life-threatening danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help and their permission before attempting any rescue technique or giving assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • In an evacuation from upper floors, if the elevators are unavailable (example: fire), the fire department recommends that you assist people with physical disabilities to the nearest accessible fire-rated stairwell, preferably near elevators, so first responders can override the elevator's fire-mode if it is safe to do so. Choose a visible spot out of the traffic flow.
  • If unable to exit a floor during a fire, in most buildings, inside a fire-rated stairwell is the place to wait for first responders.
  • 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.


In case of a fire at a campus or service location of Dallas College:

  • Remember — No personal property or location property is worth risking your safety or life.
  • If it is safe to do so, take your personal belongings and put away sensitive material. Position all items you will take with you, so they are secure but quickly accessible.
  • Secure sensitive areas. If you work in a sensitive area, such as the cashier office, secure these areas before leaving if possible, to help prevent fire damage and/or theft.
  • After asking, assist staff or visitors with mobility issues who may need assistance.
  • Leave the area by means of the primary evacuation route. If this exit is blocked, use a secondary route.
  • Once outside the building, move at least 100 feet from the building. If instructed by College Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and/or first responders, move further away from the building(s). Wait for instructions.
  • Do not re-enter building until police, CERT members and/or the fire department advises it is safe to do so.

Remember R.A.C.E. if you discover a fire:

  • Relocate — if it is safe to do so, relocate or rescue people in immediate danger. Instruct others to report to one of the gathering areas as you leave the building. Be aware of people who may need assistance.
  • Alarm — Pull the building fire alarm to alert others. Move to a safe location. Call 972-860-4029 (Central Dispatch) immediately using a cell phone, then contact a CERT member and report the precise location of the fire.
  • Confine — Close all doors, windows and other openings to confine the fire. Shut off fuel sources such as piped gases and compressed gas cylinders as you evacuate if this can be done safely.
  • Evacuate — evacuate building.

Fire Extinguishers

  • Use fire extinguishers only on small fires that are just starting to burn.
  • Never turn your back to a fire. Always keep a clear exit between you and the fire.
  • Lift the extinguisher by the bottom handle with one hand. The bottom handle will not activate the extinguisher.
  • Most extinguishers will have a plastic tab around the handle. Grasp the tab, pull and twist to break free. Discard tab.
  • Follow the P.A.S.S. acronym:
    • Pull — Pull the pin or ring after breaking plastic tie.
    • Aim — Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze — Squeeze or press the handles together.
    • Sweep — Sweep the nozzle slowly from side to side, aiming at the base of the fire.
  • Continue until the extinguisher is empty.
  • Exit to a safe location.
  • Any type of fire must be reported. Call 911 on a district phone or Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290 on your cell phone.

Bomb Threats

If you receive a bomb threat by telephone:

  • Do not pull a fire alarm.
  • Keep the caller on the phone if possible.
  • Do not interrupt the caller.
  • If the telephone has caller ID, note the telephone number.
  • Use the Department of Homeland Security Bomb Threat Checklist.
  • Perform a quick search of your area to identify suspicious or unfamiliar packages or items.
  • Do not touch any suspected item.

If you receive a bomb threat through another method:

  • If the bomb threat is handwritten, do not touch the object it was written on.
  • If message is electronic in nature, do not delete. Do not forward unless instructed by authorities.
  • Perform a quick search of your area to identify suspicious or unfamiliar packages or items.
  • Do not touch any suspected item.

In all the above incidents, call 911 on a college or district service location phone. If a college/district phone is not available, use any available phone and dial Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290.

Finding a Suspected Bomb

  • Do not pull a fire alarm.
  • Do not touch the suspected bomb.
  • Leave the immediate area and inform others in your area as you exit.
  • If it is safe to do so, take your personal belongings. Position the items so they are secure but quickly accessible.
  • Do not turn on or use a cell phone in the suspected bomb.
  • Call 911 away from the suspected bomb.

Intruder Lockdowns and Violent Criminal Behavior

Dial 911 on a college phone. If a college phone is not available, use any available phone and dial Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290.

All intervention in criminal activity is the responsibility and duty of district police officers and local law enforcement

No uniform policy can make determinations for all circumstances that may arise. Evacuating may be the best decision in one set of circumstances, while getting behind a locked and/or barricaded door 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.
  • If conditions present immediate harm, go to interior rooms and spaces that place as many walls and barriers between you and the event as possible. When you get into the room, turn out the lights and close any window blinds. Be sure to silence your cell phones. Even “vibrate mode" is too loud with many cell phones. Get low to the floor.
  • In most situations, if an Intruder Lockdown is announced, everyone should place themselves behind locked doors and/or in barricaded rooms.
  • As you enter a room, try bringing as many people as you can into the room.
  • Once you and others are locked 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.
  • Remain in safe areas until directed by police and/or fire personnel to evacuate. Do not open a door simply because someone shouts, they are a police officer or first responder.

During an Intruder Lockdown incident, the wait could be exceptionally long. Police will have to go room by room to ensure that there are no further threats to public safety.

  • In most cases, district police officers will be backed up by city or county police officers whose uniforms you might not recognize.
  • Follow police instructions. Unless instructed otherwise, put your hands-on top of your head. Do not make sudden moves — like quickly reaching for your belongings when they enter the room. Even the district police officers whom you speak to every day
  • May not recognize you during an emergency. The officers will be focusing on your hands, not your face.

Options if you are caught out in the open:

  • Keep moving until you find an open room that you can lock or barricade.
  • Keep moving until you find a good hiding place.
  • Play dead. This only works after the shooting has started — the suspect knows where he/she has been in the building.
  • Fight back. This is a personal decision and should only be used as a last resort.

Active Shooter

Notify immediately, as possible: Others in the area avoid drawing attention from perpetrators! Secure the area: close, barricade and lock doors, if possible, and secure yourself:

Remain silent: TURN OFF cell phones and computers

  • Turn off lights
  • Do not move or walk around
  • Crouch down and remain motionless
  • Put physical barriers between you and the entrance to your area

If no barriers are available, lie on the floor away from high traffic areas and remain motionless when is it over? Await an 'All Clear' message from police on the scene.

CALL: If you perceive a threat or emergency: Dial 911 from a campus phone or call 972-860-4290 from a cell phone, send text messages if possible. Do not use voice.

Police Activity Lockdown

For college service locations without the ability to lock outside doors quickly, the following steps will be taken during a police activity lockdown:

  • Report to the nearest room and lock or barricade the door.
  • Turn out the lights and close any window blinds.
  • Silence your cell phones.
  • Wait for an “all clear" message.

For college service locations with the ability to lock outside doors quickly, the following steps will be taken during a police activity lockdown:

  • The exterior doors will be locked by police officers or assigned district employees.
  • Message(s) will be sent out with information and/or instructions.
  • Signs will be posted on exterior doors advising people outside of the lockdown with a number to call for the public.
  • If you are outside the building, leave the area and wait for an “all clear" message.
  • All students and employees will remain inside the building (no standing in the doorway or going in and out).
  • Wait for an “all clear" message.
  • Incident Commander has the authority to modify the Police Activity Lockdown instructions.

Weapon at a Location

If you see someone with a weapon on campus or at a service location, or you are told someone has a weapon, dial 911 on a college phone. If a college phone is not available, use any available phone, dial Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290 and give the dispatcher the following information:

  • Location of the person with the weapon or where they were last seen
  • The name of the person suspected to have the weapon (if known)
  • A brief description of the person such as clothing, race, sex, etc.
  • The weapon type (pistol, rifle, knife, shotgun, etc.)

Evacuate the area and advise others to do the same. Under no circumstance should you approach the person and inquire about the weapon.


External Threats

Threats of terror make it impossible to have a planned response. General guidelines in all such situations follow:

  • Maintain personal situation awareness
    • Check weather information before leaving home each day
    • Check news before leaving home each day
  • Be alert to unusual activities or persons in areas you frequent and communicate any concerns to Campus Police by dialing 911 from a campus phone or 972-860-4290 from a cell phone
  • Work with others to remain calm and prepare to follow directions
  • Listen to official information sources on campus and through the media
  • Stay away from incident scenes and move a safe distance away from the area if you observe an incident in progress
  • Avoid starting rumors that may mislead others into making dangerous choices
  • If apprised of an incident or potential incident, be prepared to move quickly

Internal Threats

If you perceive individual behavior that appears threatening or that may escalate to violence, contact: A Campus Police officer via Dispatch: 911 from a campus phone or 972-860-4290 from a cell phone. If there is immediate threat, CALL THE POLICE 972-860-4290.

Medical Emergencies

Call 911 on a college service location phone. If a college phone is not available, use any available phone, dial Central Dispatch at 972-860-4290 and:

  • Initiate lifesaving measures if required and you are trained to do so.
  • Do not move an injured person unless there is a danger of further harm.
  • Keep the injured person warm.
  • Remain with the victim until medical assistance arrives.
  • Have a designated person meet emergency personnel when they arrive and escort them to the location.
  • Report the incident.

Medical Transportation

  • The district will not assume payment for ambulance transportation.
  • Individuals refusing transportation by ambulance are solely responsible for the decision. An individual cannot be forced to accept medical assistance.
  • Individuals refusing ambulance transportation to a medical facility will be responsible for their transportation to a medical facility: i.e., getting transportation from a friend or family member.

Note: The college is not liable for accidents or injuries involving transporting a person in a privately owned vehicle.

Reporting Safety Issues

Safety hazards, including but not limited to the following, should be reported to the location's Facilities Office:

  • Trip and fall hazards
  • Fire hazards
  • Unsafe activities
  • Lights not working
  • Locks or doors not working
  • Electrical hazards
  • Parking lot hazards
  • Unsafe situations

Any injury or exposure to a hazardous substance or body fluids should be reported to the Health Center and the Human Resources Office if the person involved is a Dallas College employee.

Power Outage

In the event of a power outage, emergency lighting will automatically be activated.

Have one person in your area contact the college or service location Facilities Office. Wait for further instructions from Facilities.

Severe Weather

There are two types of severe weather alerts:

Watch: A watch is a public notification that weather conditions exist that could lead to a warning.

Warning: A warning is an alert by the National Weather Service confirming an actual event that is occurring, giving time, location, speed and direction of movement.

If severe weather is imminent:

  • Remain calm. Do not exit the building.
  • Notify people in your area to quickly get away from the perimeter of the building and exterior glass.
  • Proceed to one of the marked Safer Zone areas (areas that most closely meet NOAA guidelines for severe weather) and close the door to prevent injury from flying debris.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) Weather Warnings Sent to Your Smart Phone:

Students and employees who own the newer smart phones are set up to receive WEA messages (unless the person has changed the phone's settings). These messages include severe and/or extreme weather alerts. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by government authorities through your mobile carrier. The weather warnings come from the National Weather Service (NWS).

If you receive a weather message telling you to “take shelter," then do so and inform those near you. Be aware that Central Dispatch, police officers and emergency management personnel receive warnings from the NWS roughly the same time as you receive the WEA messages. It will take a short period of time for the district to re-broadcast the message in its notification systems.

The district's notification systems also may be affected by power outages or system failures, so always follow the instructions from a reliable source such as WEA.

Inclement Weather

In the event there is a question as to whether we will be closed due to inclement weather, the following options are available:

  • College websites
  • College social media
  • News stations
  • Signing up for the district's notification services in your eConnect account

Hazardous Spills

Do not attempt to remove and/or clean up a hazardous spill.

Hazardous materials can include but are not limited to:

  • Cleaners
  • Ammonia products
  • Solvents
  • Paint products
  • Chemicals
  • Blood/body fluids

Call the colleges or location's Facilities Office.

Hazardous Spills Outside the Building

Follow instructions from authorities and/or College Emergency Response Team (CERT) members as to whether to evacuate or shelter-in-place. If you are instructed to remain in the building, proceed to one of the marked, designated Tornado Safer Zone areas.

Chemical, Biological or Radiological Incident

In the case of a chemical, biological, or radiological incident, follow the instruction of police officers, first responders and/or CERT members. In most cases, staying inside a building is your best protection unless instructed to do otherwise by authorities.

Dallas College Police Department will immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation is a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on the campus. As per the requirements of the law, Campus Police and the Marketing and Creative Services Office will, without delay and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the judgment of the first responders (including, but not limited to: campus police, local police departments) compromise the efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate emergency.

The various systems the institution has in place for communicating information quickly to the college community include the following.

  • Telephone Public Address system
  • Text messages to subscribed cell phones
  • Net Support - Written messages sent to all computer monitors at the college
  • Officers public contact
  • College social media sites
  • Digital signage around the campus
  • College website
  • Fliers on entry doors

The Marketing and Creative Services Office will post updates during a critical incident on the Dallas College website at www.dcccd.edu.

Emergency Drills

Scheduled and non-scheduled drills are planned by the PD Emergency Management Liaisons for the spring and fall semesters for the college. Evacuation routes are posted in various spots in each building.

Once the list of drill dates is approved, the dates are posted online and in the Student Life calendar to ensure students and employees are aware when scheduled drills are taking place.

Notifications that drill dates are approaching are sent by college email blast, Twitter, Facebook, digital signage and marquee and are listed on the college's events calendar online. Immediately prior to the drill beginning, emails are sent to all college employees along with PA phone announcements to alert people on the college campus. The marquee light board will post the message when the drill starts and is over. Once the drill is over the ICS staff will follow up in a meeting to discuss the results of the drill. A drill assessment form is filled out and saved as proof of documentation.

In conjunction with other emergency agencies, the college conducts emergency response drills and exercises each year, such as tabletop exercises, field exercises and tests of the emergency notification systems on campus. These tests, which may be announced or unannounced, are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution. Each test is documented and includes a description of the exercise, the date and time of the exercise and whether it was announced or unannounced.

The college publicizes a summary of the emergency response and evacuation procedures via email at least once each year in conjunction with a test (exercise and drill) that meets all the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Dallas College does not have residence halls and therefore is not required to do annual fire drills. We do, however, conduct building evacuation drills. The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case a fire or other emergency. At Dallas College evacuation drills are used to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building. During, the drill, occupants “practice" drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm.

2019 Emergency Drills

Mountain View Campus Emergency Lockdown Drill
11/12/2019, 11:30 a.m. (announced)

Faculty, staff and students were informed over the PA system. Dallas College Police Officers monitored the hallways and made sure all doors were secured and all students and staff were inside the classrooms and made sure the emergency buttons activated the doors. A sweep of the entire building and campus was conducted.

Brookhaven Campus Active Shooter Drill
9/25/2019, 1:30 p.m. (announced, campus-wide)

The drill was announced through PA system. Dallas College Police Officers walked area to verified who was participate, we were able to see S building students were holding doors open, students would not find shelter, students were sitting in the library and courtyards. Classrooms in M building were not participating. K building classroom were holding class with lights on or doors were not secured properly. J building still holding class not participating. Officers did advise students and instructor of the drill and instructed them to participate.

North Lake Campus Fire/Evacuation Drill (Central Campus)
12/4/2019, 11 a.m. (announced)

Dallas College Police, CERT Team and facilities were involved. The drill was initiated by manual pull station. These drills are designed to simulate actual emergency conditions, test the response of building occupants, emergency equipment and procedures and the effectiveness of the various groups responsible for emergency safety.

Eastfield Campus Intruder Lockdown Drill
9/26/2019, 10:14 a.m. (announced)

Campus Police and Campus CERT members were involved- The campus PA system was used to let the students and staff know that we were conducting the drill, the access control system was used to lock the exterior doors and the Campus Police and CERT members checked the buildings and classroom doors to ensure everyone was following the guidelines and reported those not in compliance to the campus administration.

Richland Campus Lockdown/Active Shooter Drill
10/10/2019, 10 a.m. (unannounced)

A planned lockdown drill was conducted with (4) Dallas College Police officers, (4) Facility workers, (16) CERT members and College volunteers and (5) observers. The drill consisted on a dispatched call to Sabine Hall reference an active shooter. Upon receiving the call, a lockdown of the campus was requested via radio to facilities personnel while officers responded to the source of the shooting. In the meantime, CERT and volunteers inspected exterior doors and hallways to ensure lockdown was in place. The all clear was given at 10:20 am. The drill consisted on a dispatched call to Sabine Hall reference an active shooter. Upon receiving the call, a lockdown of the campus was requested via radio to facilities personnel while officers responded to the source of the shooting. In the meantime, CERT and volunteers inspected exterior doors and hallways to ensure lockdown was in place. The all clear was given at 10:20 am.

El Centro Lockdown/Active Shooter Drill
6/17/2019 (unannounced)

An active shooter call that was three buildings away from the campus. Persons involved, Dallas College Police, Cert Team, Facilities and Security staff. Campus went into lockdown mode. Students and staff were informed via text, email and PA system to stay in the locked classrooms and remain until the entire building was cleared.

Cedar Valley Campus Lockdown/Safety Drill
4/18/2019, 12 p.m.

The entire campus was notified over the PA alert system. Involved were Dallas College Police Officers, CERT Team members, Cadets and staff. All buildings were cleared with no injuries reported.

General Evacuation Procedures

At the sound of a fire alarm or if you are instructed to evacuate, leave your work area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit and leave the building. If you are the first to recognize a fire station, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit and notify dispatch (972-860-4290) or dial 911.

  • Remain calm
  • Do not use elevators, use the stairs
  • Assist the physically impaired. If he/she is unable to exit without using an elevator, secure a safe location near a stairwell and immediately inform dispatch or the responding fire department of the individual's location.
  • Proceed to a clear area at least 150 feet from the building. Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Make sure all personnel are out of the building.
  • Do not re-enter the building.

Shelter in Place Notification

A shelter in place notification may come from several sources, dispatch, college employees, local PD, or other authorities utilizing the campus emergency communications tools.

Shelter in Place Procedures

If an incident occurs and the buildings or areas around you become unstable, or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors, because leaving the area may expose you to that danger. “Shelter in place" means to make a shelter of the building that you are in and with a few adjustments this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is safe to go outside. Once the Police or fire department personnel is on scene, follow their directions.

How to Shelter in Place

No matter where you are, the basic steps of shelter in place will generally remain the same. Follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:

  • If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any emergency shelter in place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of emergency. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.
  • Locate a room to shelter inside. It should be:
    • an interior room.
    • above ground level; and
    • without windows or with the least number of windows. If there is a large group of people inside a building, several rooms maybe necessary.
  • Shut and luck all windows (tighter seal) and close exteriors doors.
  • Turn off air conditioners, heaters and fans.
  • Close vents to ventilation system as you can. (Campus staff will turn off the ventilation as quickly as possible).
  • Make a list of the people with you and ask someone (hall staff, faculty, or other staff) to call the list in to dispatch so they know where you are sheltering. If only students are present, one of the students should call in the list.
  • Turn on a radio or TV and listen for further instructions.
  • Make yourself comfortable.