Emergencies

While we all hope that emergency situations never happen, it has been shown time and time again that being prepared is prudent. The information provided below is intended to assist students and employees in responding to different emergencies that may confront them in their time at Seattle Colleges. Please familiarize yourself with this information. In an emergency situation, it will serve as quick reference for effective action.

To respond to any emergency which may develop, the Department of Safety and Security has staff available whenever the building is open. If you have any questions, comments or require assistance, contact your campus Department of Safety and Security.

Click on any topic below for more information.

Download or open our full Seattle Colleges EAP. This comprehensive plan includes information for North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, South Seattle College, and Siegal Administrative Center.

Seattle Colleges EAP Emergency Action Plan.pdf

  1. For minor injuries or illness, report to your campus Safety and Security Office - See phone number listed at upper right.
     
  2. If the person is seriously injured, do not move them unless there is a life-threatening danger (e.g., falling debris, fire, explosion)
     
  3. In a life-threatening emergency, immediately dial 911, and request medical aid.
    • State the nature of the problem.
    • Give your address and location in the building.
    • Calmly and carefully provide the information requested by the 911 operator.
    • Do not hang up until told to do so.
  4. When you complete the 911 call, immediately notify the campus Department of Safety and Security, see phone number listed at upper right, as they will need to meet the medical unit and guide them to the scene.
    • State the nature of the problem, the location, and that you have already notified 911.
    • Provide as much information as possible about the illness or injury.
  5. Let the victim know help is on the way and keep them as calm and comfortable as possible. If you are first aid trained and feel it is needed, administer first aid. Keep a list of your first aid and CPR certified staff and location of your first aid kit.
     
  6. Remain with the victim until Safety/Security or emergency crews arrive.
     
  7. Victim should be asked to complete and submit an accident report with the Department of Safety and Security. See ACCIDENT REPORTS/PREVENTION PLANS below.

Reports:
Any student, employee, or visitor injured on campus must submit an accident report as soon as possible after the incident, regardless of the severity of the injury. This may be done at the campus Department of Safety and Security (see phone number listed at top of page).

Accident:
Applies to any personal injury. Accident reports are not required for illness on campus unless injuries result (e.g., a seizure causes the person to fall and strike an object).

Student/Visitor:
If the injury occurs to a student or visitor to the campus, an accident report should be submitted, but any medical expenses incurred must be paid for by the individual or their personal health insurance.

Employee:
An accident occurring to an employee or a work study student during their working hours is covered by Washington State Industrial Insurance. An injured employee who requires medical attention must advise the physician or hospital of this coverage immediately so they may initiate an industrial insurance form. The health care provider will then forward this form to the employer. The campus Department of Safety and Security receives and completes these reports on behalf of the college and forwards the finalized copies to the Department of Labor and Industries in Olympia. Any verbal or written communications received by a divisional office with regards to an injured employee(s) should be immediately submitted to the Department of Safety and Security.

Accident Prevention Policy:
Seattle Colleges believes in the dignity and importance of the individual employee and his or her right to derive personal satisfaction from their job. The prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses is given top priority at all times.

As per WAC 296-24-040, a college accident prevention program has been developed that emphasizes the integration of safety and health measures into each job task so that safety/health and job performance become inseparable. This will be accomplished through the cooperative efforts of managers, supervisors, and employees.

By accepting mutual responsibility to operate safely, we will contribute to the well being of all personnel.

  1. If it is possible, attempt to extinguish the fire (i.e., a small, trash can fire). Be sure to utilize the correct type of extinguisher for the type of fire.
    • Common fires
    • Flammable liquids and gases
    • Energized electrical
  2. Notify the campus Department of Safety and Security immediately. See phone number listed above.
     
  3. If it is not possible to extinguish the fire, immediately proceed to the nearest Fire Pull Station and activate it. Please check with your campus Security Office for the location of Fire Pull Stations.
     
  4. Call 911.
    • State the nature of the call and that you have activated the building fire alarm.
    • Advise the dispatcher of the location of the fire and any other information requested.
    • Do not hang up until told to do so by the dispatcher.
  5. Immediately notify your campus Department of Safety and Security. See phone number listed above.
    • State the nature of the call and that you have activated the building fire alarm.
    • Also state that you have called 911.
    • Give the location of the fire and any other information requested.
    • Again, do not hang up until told to do so by the dispatcher.
  6. If the fire is large, smoky or rapid spreading, you may be directed to evacuate the building.
    • Inform others who may not have heard the notification and proceed calmly to the nearest exit. See BUILDING EVACUATION below.
    • When alarm sounds BEGIN EVACUATION. Calmly proceed to the nearest exit.
  7. When fire alarms sound or in the event of a fire, do not use elevators. They may shut down or become inoperative. Give assistance in using the stairs to all disabled persons. See EVACUATION OF MOBILITY IMPAIRED PERSONS below.
     
  8. Evacuate to at least 500 feet from the building and do not interfere with emergency personnel on scene. Do not reenter the building unless instructed to do so by public safety personnel.
     
  9. Notify the public safety personnel or firefighters if you suspect someone is trapped inside.

During a Fire

Test the door with the back of your hand. If hot, use an alternate exit. If not, open the door carefully, being ready to close it if heat or smoke rush in.

Crawl low under smoke. Smoke rises while clean air stays low, near the floor. So crawl on the floor, maintaining contact with the walls as you go to the nearest exit. If you are unable to crawl, stay near the floor for clean air and protect yourself as if you were trapped.

Get out, stay out. Exit as quickly as you can. Go to the nearest phone and call the fire department. Do not go back inside.

If you are unable to evacuate or are trapped – remain calm. Close doors between you and the smoke. If there is a phone, call 911 and tell the dispatcher where you are located in the building. Stuff cracks and cover vents to keep smoke out. Wait at a window; signal the firefighters and wait to be rescued.

Stop, drop and roll. If your clothes catch on fire, stop where you are. Drop gently to the floor or ground. Cover your face with your hands to protect your face from flames, and roll over and over to smother the flames. If you cannot drop to the floor, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.

In the event of an emergency that requires evacuation, all persons should observe the following evacuation procedures:

  1. All persons shall move towards the nearest marked exit. Wheelchair occupants or persons with mobility impairment have first priority for the building elevators, but elevators should never be used in a fire or earthquake.
    • Time permitting, take briefcases, purses, and jackets with you.
    • Also time permitting, close classroom doors, lock file cabinets and office doors as you calmly move to the nearest exit.
  2. Verbal Notice to Evacuate
    • When a verbal evacuation order is given, do not hinder or delay the Safety/Security Officer or designee making the announcement with arguments or numerous questions about the incident. As soon as time permits, you will be fully briefed as to the nature of the emergency. For your safety, calmly comply with the directions given.
  3. Alarm Notice to Evacuate
    • Listen for alarm notice to evacuate. When alarm sounds BEGIN EVACUATION. Calmly proceed to the nearest exit.
  4. Evacuation Maps
    An evacuation map will direct evacuees to the nearest emergency exit. Note the location of evacuation maps at your campus.
     
  5. Partial Evacuation
    It is possible that some incidents may require only certain, specific areas on campus be evacuated. You will be notified by campus authorities or emergency personnel if these circumstances exist.

NOTE: Wheelchair occupants or persons with mobility impairment are urged to prepare ahead of time by instructing classmates or their instructor on how to assist them in the event of an emergency. See EVACUATION OF MOBILITY IMPAIRED PERSONS below.

During an evacuation or other emergency, students, staff and visitors with disabilities may require special assistance from instructors, students and/or college staff. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to prepare for emergencies ahead of time by discussing their needs with appropriate personnel.

During an emergency, if assistance is not immediately available, individuals with disabilities should stay in an exit corridor or in a stairwell landing. He/she should continue to call for help until rescued. Individuals who cannot speak loudly should carry a whistle or have other means of attracting the attention of others. To assist such individuals, others should report their location to the campus Department of Safety and Security. See phone number listed above or other emergency personnel.

There are some emergency circumstances where the safest course of action is to stay where you are. Examples of these circumstances could include, but are not limited to: gunfire, life threatening circumstances reported by campus authorities or police, or hazards outside the campus building(s) like a fire, hazardous spill, or vapor cloud.

If you are notified by campus authorities or emergency personnel to shelter in place, or you determine that this is the safest course of action in an emergency, close and if possible, lock the doors and windows.

  • Close drapes or curtains and stay away from the windows.
  • Wait for further instructions.
  • Do not evacuate the area until told to do so, or it is determined that evacuation is the safest course of action.

If an armed or threatening intruder comes on to Seattle Colleges property, it is very important that faculty, staff, and/or students report it immediately and take protective actions.

Watch an Active Shooter instructional video here: Active Shooter Instructional Video

Safety & Security recommends the following procedures.
If you see an armed intruder and you are in an office or classroom:

  1. Remain in the classroom or office and immediately lock all doors.
  2. Call 911 or 9-911 (both will work within the college phone network) and alert the Seattle Police Department. Try to remain calm so you can give an accurate description of the person or person(s). Note type of dress, height, weight, sex, and any other characteristics/physical items that are particular to the individual(s). Report the type of weapon (if known) and direction of travel or building entered.
  3. Call campus Safety & Security to report the above information.
  4. Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains.
  5. Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  6. Stay out of the open areas and be as quiet as possible.
  7. Try to remain as calm as possible.
  8. Keep classroom or office secure until police or Safety & Security arrive and give directions.

If you are caught in an open or exposed area and you cannot get into a classroom or office, you must decide upon a course of action:

Hiding
Look for a safe and secure hiding area. Once in place try to remain calm. Stay hidden until you can make contact with emergency personnel.

Running
If you think you can safely make it out of the area, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects (trees, vehicles, trash cans, etc.) between you and the hostile person. When away from immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.

Playing Dead
If the intruder is causing death or physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to assume a prone position and lay as still as possible.

Fighting
Your last option if you are caught in the open and are in close proximity of the intruder is to fight back. This is dangerous and not recommended, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.

If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and avoid eye contact.

Once emergency personnel have arrived and taken over the situation, obey all commands.

Safety & Security Procedures

  1. Once notified of a hostile intruder, campus Safety & Security Supervisors will ensure 911 has been contacted.
  2. The Safety & Security Supervisor will then implement the campus Emergency Procedures Plan.
  3. The college President will be notified and the Emergency Management Team will establish a command center.
  4. The Emergency Management Team will coordinate the campus response with the Seattle Police Department.
  1. If you receive a telephone bomb threat, remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the caller.
     
  2. Immediately notify your campus Department of Safety and Security. See phone number listed above.
     
  3. Bomb threats received through the mail or by other means should also be reported immediately.
    • Give your name, location, and telephone number.
    • Inform them of the situation, including any information you were able to gather.
  4. Inform your supervisor or department head.
     
  5. Campus authorities will be responsible for building evacuation.
     
  6. If you notice a suspicious object, package, etc., report it immediately to your campus Department of Safety and Security, but under no circumstances should you touch or move it in any way.
     
  7. If instructed to evacuate, move a safe distance away from the building (a minimum of 100 yards). If inclement weather conditions exist you may move to another building that is a safe distance away. See BUILDING EVACUATION above.
  1. Call the Department of Safety and Security immediately. See phone number listed above.
    • Give them your name, location and department.
    • State the nature of the situation and description(s) of those involved.
    • Remain where you are until contacted by an officer.
  2. For your own safety and the safety of others, do not attempt to apprehend, or interfere with the criminal except in self-defense.
     
  3. If safe to do so, stop and get a good description of the subject.
    NOTE: Height, weight, race, sex, age, and what the person is wearing, method and direction of travel, identity if known, and if the subject is armed. This will take only a few seconds and is vital information for responding officers. If the subject enters a vehicle, note the license number, make, model, color, and any outstanding characteristics. If the subject flees in the vehicle, note the direction of travel.
     
  4. In the event of a civil disturbance, do not interfere with those persons creating the disturbance or with law enforcement officers on the scene.

Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse, can disrupt utilities, and can trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, hazardous material spills, tsunamis and volcanoes. Approximately 1,000 earthquakes occur in Washington State every year, although most of them are not strong enough to be felt.

In an earthquake, “DROP, COVER, AND HOLD”.

  1. When you feel an earthquake, DROP under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, and other objects that could fall.
     
  2. Stay under COVER until the shaking stops.
     
  3. HOLD onto the desk or table. If it moves, move with it.
     
  4. Outdoors, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
     
  5. In a crowded public place, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves with objects that could fall on you.
     
  6. After an earthquake, check yourself and those around you for injuries.
     
  7. Be prepared for aftershocks.
     
  8. Follow the other sections of this manual for fire, hazardous materials leaks, and medical emergencies, if necessary.
     
  9. In the event of major damage or disruption, the Department of Safety and Security will implement evacuation procedures. See BUILDING EVACUATION above.
     
  10. Use the phone only to report life threatening hazards or injuries.
     
  11. Immediately notify the Department of Safety and Security of any serious hazards or injuries. See phone number listed above.
     
  12. Employees are encouraged to prepare ahead of time by putting together a basic disaster supplies kit. A list of items recommended by the American Red Cross Disaster Services is available on the PERSONAL PREPAREDNESS page of this website.

As many as 500,000 products pose physical or health hazards and can be defined as hazardous materials. The best protection against injuries from hazardous materials is by using, storing, and disposing of all materials according to product labels in a safe and proper manner.

If a gas cylinder or other container should begin leaking and if, in the judgment of the person(s) responsible for such materials, it presents a danger to them or other building occupants, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Confine any fumes by shutting any doors to the area.
  2. Immediately notify your campus Department of Safety and Security - See phone number listed above.
  3. Begin evacuation of the area. Campus authorities will be responsible for building evacuation. See BUILDING EVACUATION above.
  4. Evacuate to a safe area at least 500 feet away from the building.
  5. Suspected gas leaks or suspicious odors should be reported to the campus Department of Safety and Security immediately.
    • Flammable: capable of being ignited and burning quickly
    • Toxic: poisonous
    • Corrosive: tending or having the power to dissolve substances
    • Oxygenic: containing oxygen, aiding in the combustion process
    • Cryogenic: existing at a very low temperature

If for some reason you are unable to reach your campus Department of Safety and Security, call 911.

Any leaks or spills that affect or have the potential to affect outdoor ground, air, or water sources, and you are unable to contact the Department of Safety and Security, call:

Washington State Department of Ecology
24-hour Emergency Spill Response
Northwest Office, Bellevue: (425) 649.7000

A large scale disaster is a major incident such as an earthquake, fire, chemical spill, flood, etc. which affects the entire college (or large segments of it), and endangers the life and well-being of all (or large segments) of the college community. It is a situation which requires the coordinated efforts of designated people to sustain a system of order and safety, and to restore normal operations. It may also require the assistance of outside emergency services.

Should a large scale disaster occur, your college will operate under an Incident Command System. This system is described in thorough detail in the Emergency Access Plan (EAP) above.

Important components of Disaster Preparedness Plans are regular orientation, training, and practice drills involving selected members of the college community. Periodically, such training/drills may involve the entire college community, as in the case of evacuation drills or similar simulations. Employees, students, and visitors are responsible for cooperating with such drills.

In the event of a large scale disaster, all employees will be informed that the college is operating under the Incident Command System.

  • All employees will assist with building evacuation.See BUILDING EVACUATION and
    EVACUATION OF MOBILITY IMPAIRED PERSONS above.
  • Staff with assigned responsibilities within the Incident Command System will assume those responsibilities.

When the disaster has abated, employees will be informed when normal operations can be resumed. Do not resume normal operations until informed to do so.

Communicable diseases are those that can be spread from one organism to another, often from one human to another. Some of these diseases include Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis. Additional information or assistance is available at the King County Public Health website: www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/communicable.aspx.


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