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Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is a team effort on each WSCC campus and is led by the Director of Campus Police and Emergency Preparedness. Emergency Preparedness teams consist of the College Emergency Response policy group, College Emergency Response Management Team, and College Emergency Response Team. Campus police and college administrators are responsible for developing emergency response plans and policy for implementation. The College Emergency Response Management Team (CERMT) is responsible for review of plans and policy and for decision making/assistance during an emergency event relative to managing the emergency event and business continuity. The College Emergency Response Team (CERT) consists of building coordinators who are responsible for assisting in the development and execution of building emergency plans that conform to all hazard situations that would include evacuation, relocation, and lockdown/shelter-in-place. The building coordinators assign building staff as floor and area coordinators who will assist in execution of the plan. All of these individuals work together to ensure the building plan is appropriately coordinated and can be immediately activated should the need arise.

Emergency Alert System

In the event of an emergency situation warranting immediate notification/action the campus police department will activate the campus emergency alert system. Once the system is activated, each telephone speaker in each classroom or office broadcasts the appropriate action to take. In addition, speakers in the hall ways will broadcast the message and provide a digital read-out of the emergency. Building, floor, area coordinators, instructors and office staff will provide further direction to building occupants as to the location of evacuation and relocation areas and ensure that building occupants get to or stay in the location needed.

Evacuation

Exit building via the nearest emergency exit, to the designated outside rally point. Students and visitors will be directed by college staff should the plan for the building be activated.

Relocation

Exit/clear work area and advance to designated interior relocation area. Students and visitors will be directed by college staff should the plan for the building be activated.

Lockdown/Shelter-in-place

Close, lock, barricade door, turn out lights, move away from windows and door. Remain in area to await rescue or contact from police.

Active Shooter and Hostage Situations

This information provides guidance to faculty, staff, students, and visitors who may be caught in an active shooting or a hostage situation.

An "active shooter" is a person or persons who appear to be actively killing or attempting to kill people in a single location. These situations have happened in schools, shopping malls, businesses, streets, and other public venues. These situations are dynamic in nature and require immediate action by law enforcement personnel to stop the shooter.

A hostage situation is one in which a person(s) takes control over another person(s), is demanding some type of action and not allowing the person(s) being held to leave. The hostage taker is not actively killing or injuring people. The hostage taker is holding people against their will. Police will respond and attempt to communicate with the hostage taker(s).

Run, Hide, Fight
What to do during an active shooter situation

Guidelines for Responding to Active Shooter

How one responds at an active shooter situation will be determined by the specific circumstances of the encounter. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use the following guidelines as a strategy for survival.

If an active shooter is outside your building

  • Proceed to a room that can be locked or barricaded
  • Lock all doors and windows, turn out the lights and stay away from and lower than the windows. Barricade the door if you cannot lock it.
  • Dial 9-1-1 and advise the dispatcher of what is taking place and your location. Remain on the line to give the dispatcher any further information that may be needed.
  • Remain in the room until the local/campus police or a campus administrator gives the "all clear." Police will announce themselves as "officer____________ with the local or campus police department. Campus staff will announce themselves by giving their name and the position they hold within the college.

If an active shooter is inside the building with you

  • If the room can be locked, lock it and stay away from the door.
  • If the room cannot be locked, determine if there is a nearby room that you could safely get to that can be locked. Consider barricading the door if you can not lock it. Turn out the lights and stay away from and lower than the windows.
  • Dial 9-1-1 and advise the dispatcher of what is taking place and your location. Remain on the line to give the dispatcher any further information that may be needed.
  • Remain in the room until the local/campus police or a campus administrator gives the "all clear." Police will announce themselves as "officer____________ with the local or campus police department. Campus staff will announce themselves by giving their name and the position they hold within the college.

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom

  • Dial 9-1-1 on your office/classroom phone or cell phone if possible.
  • If it is possible to talk, give shooter's location and description.
  • If it is not safe to speak, just leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear what is taking place.
  • If possible, attempt to negotiate with the shooter.
  • Attempting to overpower the shooter with force should be considered as the last resort after all other options have been exhausted.
  • If the shooter leaves the area, attempt to lock the door or barricade the door or proceed to a safe location

If you are able to and decide to flee an active shooting situation

  • Have a route of escape in mind.
  • Leave everything behind except your cell phone (do not worry about purses or book bags – those will only slow you down.
  • Keep your hands visible and follow the instructions of the police. You must remember, the police may not have an accurate description of the shooter(s), so for everyone's safety, you may be detained by the police.
  • Do not stop to assist wounded victims or attempt to move them. Do tell the police where these victims are located.

What you should expect from responding law enforcement to an active shooter

  • Police are trained to proceed as quickly as possible to the sound of the gunfire; their purpose is to stop the shooter(s).
  • Officers may be in plainclothes, patrol uniforms or SWAT Uniforms armed with long rifles, shotguns and handguns.
  • Do as the officers direct you and keep your hands visible at all times.
  • If possible, tell the officers where the shooter(s) was last seen and a description of the shooter(s).
  • Also be aware that the first responding police officers will not stop to assist injured people. Others will follow to treat the injured. First responding officers are trained to proceed as quickly as possible to the gunfire and to stop the shooter(s).
  • Keep in mind that once you are in a safe location, the entire scene is a crime scene. The police usually will not let anyone leave until the situation is completely under control. Police may ask for your statement of what you heard and observed. Please cooperate with the police.

Guidelines for Responding to a Hostage Situation

How one responds in a hostage situation will be determined by the specific circumstances of the encounter. If you find yourself involved in such a situation, try to remain calm. It is generally recommended that you follow directions of the hostage taker.

The police response to this situation is different than an active shooter. The police will not proceed immediately into the situation but will surround the area and attempt to set up negotiations with the hostage taker. A hostage situation could last for hours or days. The ultimate goal is for the hostage taker to release all hostages and peacefully surrender to the police.

If the hostage taker begins to kill or injure people or if the negotiators believe the hostage taker is about to start killing or injuring people, police will respond as they do to an active shooter situation. The police will likely respond immediately to stop the shooter.