Campus Police and Parking

Emergencies at Fort Lewis College

Being Prepared to Act

What is an emergency?

An emergency is a sudden or unforeseen, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances which demands immediate action. Examples include wildfires, explosions, and severe snowstorms.

Emergencies may include any or all of the following:

  • Injury or death
  • Property damage
  • Disruption or cessation of campus activities and/or normal operations

The scope of the emergency will determine the response. Emergencies range from minor disruptions, such as a power outage, to major catastrophes, such as structural building failures due to explosions or extremely heavy snowfall.

What will happen during an emergency?

Every emergency is different. Generally, every time you hear vehicle sirens from any emergency vehicle, an emergency of some type is occurring, even though it may not directly affect you. Although all emergencies are different, emergency responders follow an outline which they tailor to suit the emergency they respond to. You can expect the following from emergency responders:

  • Life saving is the primary focus. Persons in danger of losing life will receive life saving attention. Persons in danger of serious injury will be moved out of the area. Persons causing life threatening situations will be taken into custody.
  • Efforts to contain/control/prevent life threatening situations will occur. Perimeters may be established
  • Efforts to contain/control/prevent property damage will occur. Perimeters may be established
  • Public information will be limited. Emergency responders must focus on the emergency. Rumors and/or inaccurate information may circulate. Official announcements may follow to inform the public and correct misconceptions.
  • The Fort Lewis College Emergency Operations Plan may be activated.
  • Individuals may or may not receive direction from emergency responders. Persons in good health who do not require emergency attention may initially be expected to look out for their own safety. Common sense is your best guide.
  • Once the emergency is contained and/or under control, recovery efforts will begin to bring the campus back to normal conditions

What can YOU do about emergencies?

  1. If the emergency does not directly affect you, allow emergency responders to do their best by not interrupting their work and obeying their directions. Stay out of the area and control your natural curiosity. Often emergencies are made worse by persons who are overly concerned with the emergency and are not paying attention to their own current situation. An example would be a driver trying to see what happened in an accident who is not paying attention to what is occurring directly ahead of him or her in the road. The result may be another accident.
  2. Mentally prepare in advance. Think about what kind of emergency might happen where you work and what you will do if it happens. Do you know where the fire alarm and the nearest fire extinguisher are? Do you have an escape route planned? What if your primary route is blocked? Do you know CPR? Can you contact and/or recognize emergency first responders? Remember, you must dial 9-911 from an on campus phone.
  3. Prepare an emergency survival kit for your home, car and office. A home kit might contain flashlights, batteries, flares, a radio, and a first aid kit. A car kit might include jumper cables and blankets. An office kit might include prescription medicine and a list of emergency contact phone numbers.

You may contact the Fort Lewis College Police Dept. at 247-7491 or 247-7123 for additional information.

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