During the month of October, in partnership with the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning, Public Safety facilitated an engaging array of workshops focusing on the immediate steps that faculty and staff can do to protect themselves and others when an emergency occurs on campus. This workshop covered an easy and general protocol for implementing the Run-Hide-Fight response and The Big Five: Immediate Action Response.
The “Run-Hide-Fight” response is a simple concept. First, run if you can get out of the vicinity of danger, avoiding an armed assailant while not hurting yourself in the process. Run away as far and as fast as you can. Take as many people with you as is safe, avoid going through open spaces if possible, and call 911 when it is safe to do so.
If you are unable to run, then you must hide. This could mean leaving your desk area and locking yourself and others into a safe room in your building, and barricading the door. Make sure to turn off the lights and close the blinds, lay low and quiet. Remember to silence your phone as soon as possible, as to not give away your safe position, and quietly call 911 when it is safe to do so.
The last resort, fight the assailant, is the least palatable, but this could mean staying alive. Make every second count by distracting the assailant with any objects in the room at your disposal, as illustrated in the attached photograph when Christina Trujillo is asked to walk into the workshop and foam blocks are thrown at her. This is an effort to give you the advantage over the assailant’s confusion, and give you a better chance at survival.
Another important take-away from the workshop is The Big Five: Immediate Action Response. When an emergency occurs, it is critical that staff members take immediate steps to protect themselves, their students, and other people on campus. It is essential to become familiar with The Big Five, and be prepared to perform all assigned responsibilities:
Lastly, keep in mind “If You See Something, Say Something™.” It takes a community to protect a community. This raises public awareness and importance of reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement. We can all help keep the College safe by paying attention to our surroundings and report suspicious activity.
By remembering these simple guides, you can keep both you and others safe. It is difficult to define exactly what to do in the event of a terrifying and stressful event, as there are no definite rules to survival. Run when it is safe to run. Hide where it is safe to hide. As a last resort, fight if your life depends on it.
Stay connected to the campus in an emergency! As mentioned in the workshop, sign-up for ALERTU, which enables college administration to send emergency information by text messages to cell phones on a subscription basis. Visit the Public Safety Services Website for additional information. If you had to leave the workshop early, you still have other opportunities to participate in this vital workshop! The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 25th in the Multicultural Hosting Gallery from1:30-2:30 p.m.
For specific questions to Public Safety, contact Jim Vangele, Chief Public Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Liezl Madrona & Jim Vangele