Staying Safe in a Campus Emergency


Video length is 19:31.

Trascript of Dallas College Campus Safety Video

[Introductory Music]

What you're about to learn in the next few minutes could save your life and the lives of those around you. This information will provide you with specific procedures to follow when confronted with an emergency. The following safety procedures have been legally authorized by Dallas College Board Policy 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. Employees are expected to set an example and to follow 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 campus or location relay critical instructions from the incident commander or first responders. Following the instructions of CERT members, will allow you a much better chance at keeping safe during an emergency.


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. If an evacuation order is given, you must exit the building quickly. While you are exiting. Alert others who may not be aware of the situation and look for anyone needing assistance. Always ask permission before helping them. After you exit, move at least 300 ft from the building. By moving 300 ft. 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 300 ft. away from the building. Remember, keep your distance and keep safe.

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Emergency situations can occur that will require you to shelter in place. A gas leak or hazardous chemical spilled near the college are examples of shelter in place scenarios. When the order has been given to shelter in place, first and foremost, remained 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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If you discover smoke or 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 9-1-1 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 and 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. 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. 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, think of the past acronym, P-A-S-S. P - Pull the pin or ring. A - Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Approach the fire and stop about 8 ft away. S - Squeeze or press the handles together. S - Sweep the nozzle slowly from side-to-side aiming at the base of the fire. Continue using the fire extinguisher until it's empty, then exit to a safe location. As always, report any type of fire by calling 9-1-1 from a campus phone or call Dallas College police at 972-860-4290 from a cell phone.

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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 Dallas College police 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 police officer chooses not to act due to the possibility that they could accidentally be shot by a responding officer mistaking him or her as a possible suspect. 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 indecision prevent you from leaving. Finally, when you're at 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. 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? 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 bulkhead 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 ringtone 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. The college police should have access to all 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 into your room or you receive the all clear from the Dallas College 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, he or she will be more focused on your hands and your actions than your face. The first officers responding are trained not to stop and assist the injured until the environment is completely safe.

[Officers shouting orders: "Get your hands up! Get your hands where we can see them, now!"]

Expect arriving officers to be shouting orders 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 follow the instructions of the officer. 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. Some people who have found themselves caught out in the open during a violent incident have survived by playing dead. When police officers encounter a suspect, do not interrupt them. The officers will take the needed action to secure the safety of the building.

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There are two types of lockdowns. Police activity locked down and an intruder locked down. A police activity locked down occurs when the location has been notified of a potential threat located outside of the building. An intruder lock-down happens when a threat or intruder is inside the building or location you are occupying. Dallas College police can lock down all external doors of the main campus locations. Regardless of location, you should take the same steps in both types of lockdown scenarios. Individual 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. Locked down 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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Public safety is everyone's concern. If you witness concerning or suspicious behavior, call 911 on a college phone or call 972-860-4290 on your cell phone. Also call 911 if you know someone who is an immediate threat to themselves or to others.

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Most bomb threats are received by phone. Bomb threats are serious until proven otherwise. So you'll know what to do in this situation, review the bomb threat checklist available on the police SharePoint page. This will help you know what information you should report to authorities. If you receive a bomb threat by phone, remain calm. Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible. Do not hang up, even if the caller does. Listen carefully. Be polite and show interest. Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information. If possible, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities or as soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify them yourself. If your phone has a display, copy the number and or letters on the window display. Complete the bomb threat checklist immediately. Write down as much detail as you can remember. Try to get the exact words. Immediately upon termination of the call. Do not hang up, but from a different phone, contact authorities with information and await instructions. If you are calling from your cell phone, contact Dallas College police at 972-860-4290. If the bomb threat is received by a handwritten note, handle it as minimally as possible. If the bomb threat is received by email, do not delete the message. In both instances. You should also call 911 on a college phone or the Dallas College police at 972-860-4290. If you see a package you suspect may contain a bomb, here are some signs to look for. No return address, excessive postage, stains, strange odor, strange sounds, unexpected delivery, poorly handwritten, misspelled words, incorrect titles, foreign postage, restrictive notes. If you see any of these signs on the package, do not use your cell phone or a two-way radio. Radio signals have the potential to detonate a bomb. Do not touch or move the suspicious package. Leave the area and inform others around you. Do not pull the fire alarm. You do not want to cause further panic. Once you are in a safe location, call 911 on a college phone or Dallas College police at 972-860-4290.

[Sound Effects] If you have a voice-over IP equipped Dallas College phone, you will see a panic button on the phone's display. In case of an emergency, press the panic button. Dallas College police will be alerted and will be dispatched to your exact location.

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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. 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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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 Dallas College email and text notifications, the local news or the Dallas College website for any closures or delays.

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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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Safety hazards include trip and fall hazards, fire or chemical hazards, and nonworking lights. Any injuries or exposure to a hazardous substance or body fluids should be reported to your campus police department. Any safety hazards you see on campus should immediately be reported to facilities. To do so, access the facilities management SharePoint page and scroll down to click on the button that reads, "Facilities Work Order Request." Once you are directed to the form, enter in as much detail as possible, and attach a photo whenever possible. This information's sole purpose is to help keep you safe in the event of a college emergency.

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Here are a few key points that you need to remember. Never panic. Never panic. Stay alert and safe, and periodically review your locations. emergency procedures that are posted in classrooms and on the college websites. Knowing what actions to take before an emergency occurs increases your odds of staying safe and may even save your life.

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