The following emergency procedures will help prepare you for a variety of situations.
- If you see fire, smoke or smell gas; remain calm, warn persons in your immediate area, activate the nearest fire alarm and then leave the building.
- If you hear a fire alarm; you MUST immediately leave the building using the nearest safe exit. In case of inclement weather, once outside, evacuees will be directed to a safe and warm location.
- Leave the building immediately; do NOT visit lockers or stop to pick up
- Do not use elevators.
- If exit is blocked by smoke or fire; use the next nearest available exit.
- Move well away from the building; keep all entrances/exits clear to
facilitate access by emergency personnel.
- Do not re-enter the building for any purpose while an alarm is
sounding. Silencing the alarm doesn’t mean the emergency is over. Do
not re-enter until authorized by the Fire Department or RRC Security Services.
- Persons with mobility restrictions should be assisted to a safe
location such as a stairway landing. Someone should wait with that
person while another reports their position to RRC Security Services or fire personnel.
Active Shooter on Campus
Active Shooter Defined
An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no apparent pattern or method to how they choose their victims.
Active shooter situations evolve quickly and there is no way to anticipate their course. Typically, the immediate deployment of police is needed to stop the shooting and mitigate harm.
Active shooter situations can be over within 10 to 15 minutes. For this reason, it is important that you are prepared to take actions necessary to protect yourself.
Get Out – Hide – Fight
Experts recommend three essential courses of action to help you avoid harm in an active shooter situation. These methods are demonstrated in the video Shooter on Campus: Know You Can Survive.
Get Out: Getting out is by far the best option if you believe you can escape safely. This is why it is a good idea to make mental notes of means of escape wherever you may be on campus. If you hear something that could be gunshots, don’t wait: get out.
Hide: Hide if you don’t know exactly where the shooting is happening or it’s too late to escape safely. Get behind a lockable door if you can. Barricade the door. Improvise with any object you can to prevent someone from entering.
Once you are hidden, silence your phone, turn off the lights and stay quiet. If your spot is secure, be prepared to remain there until the police come to you with the all clear.
Fight: Fighting is your absolute last resort. You would only confront an active shooter if you somehow became trapped in a space with no escape. Active shooters typically do not respond to reason so you must assume they intend to harm you. Find an object you can use to strike the shooter with; trip them with a chair; be as aggressive as you can; do anything you can to stop them.
You will need to decide if you can do this. Remember, it is your decision.
You Can Prepare Yourself
You can make a difference simply by imagining various scenarios playing out in the places you take classes, study or work. Where are the exits? Do the doors lock? What would make a good barricade? What would make a good weapon? Ask yourself “What if…?” This kind of thinking is helpful in preparing for all kinds of emergency, wherever you may go.
About the Police
You might be surprised by the actions of the police in an active shooter situation. First, they may not have time to help you when they first arrive as their top priority will be to find and stop the shooter. Second, the police might not know exactly what the shooter looks like so they have to consider you a possible threat. For that reason, if you encounter police, do not run toward them. Remain calm. Keep your hands visible. Follow instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Red River College promoting this kind of education when the scenario is so unlikely?
There are three reasons for bringing this information to you:
This material could save a life, whether on a campus or anywhere else people may travel.
Red River College’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Workplace Safety Officers and Campus Security are frequently asked for this information and we are responding to that request. People with this information often report that it brings a sense of empowerment and peace of mind.
Finally, the information can be generalized. You can employ the thought process to prepare for any kind of emergency. This information encourages you to ask that powerful “What if” question.
Usually we’re taught to just phone the police and wait when there is a crime. You’re telling me to actually take actions. Why is this very different?
Active shooter events happen very fast. They evolve quickly and are typically over in a matter of minutes. The police will come, but you need to think about those few minutes before they arrive, and you should have an idea of what to do when they do arrive.
Are you really suggesting attacking a person who has a gun?
Keep in mind this is the last resort. Active shooters almost always continue until something happens to stop them. If you are trapped with nowhere to go, it might be your only choice. Nobody can force you to take this step, but you should at least be aware it is an option. What you do in such a situation is your own decision.
As a student, I move around all day. I’m in several different rooms and spaces. Am I supposed to have a detailed plan for everywhere I go?
No, it’s not practical to have a detailed plan for every situation. But you can take a moment in various locations to ask, “What if?” It will prompt you to make a mental note of exits and possible hiding places. That small amount of forethought could make the critical difference in how you react in a real emergency.
Are instructors expected to take the lead in an actual emergency such as this?
It is impossible to predict how anyone will react in such an extreme event. Any one of us is capable of becoming a leader with the presence of mind to remember what to do and to take action. It might be an instructor, a member of administration, a member of support staff or a student. With this education, we are all equally prepared to make informed decisions for ourselves.
I’ve never heard a gunshot in real life. How will I know if I hear one?
The sound of gunfire can vary a lot. Sometimes it can sound like a firecracker. Sometimes it’s more like a pop or a loud bang. Gunshots sound different inside and outside. It probably won’t sound like you expect it to sound. The sound of gunfire on your campus, however, will be out of the ordinary. Listen and look for clues and if there’s any doubt in your mind, treat the situation as though it is gunfire.
Am I expected to save others from a shooter, such as people that might have mobility issues or freeze up, for example?
You are not expected to be a hero. You must do what is right for you. If you are confident you can help others without putting yourself in unnecessary danger, you may choose to do so.
Does this education only apply when I’m on campus?
No, the principles are the same wherever you are.
I’ve watched the video and now feel anxious and upset. What do I do?
It is okay to be upset. It can be helpful to talk to someone about your response. Most people find it helpful to talk with friends or colleagues. If the subject matter is especially distressing to you, however, there are resources available:
If you are a Red River College student, you can contact Counselling Services.
If you are a member of Red River College staff, you can contact the college’s EFAP provider, Homewood Health, at 1-800-663-1142 or homeweb.ca.
Anyone, anytime, can speak to a counsellor anonymously over the phone by calling Klinic Crisis Line at 204-786-8686.
Red River College has a zero tolerance for violent and threatening behaviour. Removal from a course, practicum, program or the College campus will be immediate for violent incidents or if the safety of College staff or students is threatened. Incidents involving violence or threats of violence must be reported immediately to RRC Security Services.
If you are threatened, or overhear a threat being made, contact RRC Security Services immediately.
If you, or someone near you, is injured or suffering a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 first and then RRC Security Services.
RRC Security Services officers are training in first aid and CPR and can assist until an ambulance arrives. RRC Security Services will also meet the ambulance and quickly direct responders to your location.
All injuries that occur as a result of College business MUST be reported to Health Services as soon as possible.
Spills and Hazardous Materials
Students should report all spills to their instructor or supervisor.
If the shop or lab has the resources, including trained people, department staff and students should clean-up immediately. This depends on the volume, the type and hazard of the material, the specific location and the availability of spill kits and other containment apparatus. A typical example of a simple spill at RRC is a small oil spill in an automotive shop.
Evacuate the area immediately and instruct other to do so. Dial 911 and contact RRC Security Services.
In case of a power failure, remain calm. In most cases you can remain where you are. Most campuses have backup power generators to ensure safety systems remain online.
Please be patient as information on the cause and duration of the utility interruption may take up to one hour to become available. Updates will be issued over the “News Feed” in the Mobile Safety app as they become available.
Prolonged disruptions may result in the cancelling of some programs. Any decisions will be communicated through the Mobile Safety app and the RRC website.
In the case of an interruption to water or sewer service to an RRC campus, Health and Safety staff will monitor the situation closely. As with any utility interruption, it may take up to one hour to determine the cause and time to repair the situation. Prolonged disruptions may result in a cancelling of some programs or classes.
If you become stuck in an elevator, remain calm. You are safe where you are and there is plenty of air.
Use the emergency button to contact RRC Security Services.
Notify security if any persons trapped in the elevator have any injuries or suffer any serious medical conditions.
If you receive a bomb threat:
- Listen carefully
- Be calm and courteous
- Do not interrupt the caller
- Obtain as much information as possible
- Sex, accent, tone, time, where is it, why
- Report the incident to RRC Security Services immediately
If you find a suspicious object or device:
- Do not touch or move the object
- Do not assume it is the only one.
- Notify RRC Security Services immediately
If an explosion takes place on campus, take immediate cover away from doors and windows, if possible.
If the fire alarm is activated:
- Immediately evacuate the building
- Do not use elevators
- Stay well away from the affected area and obey instructions of emergency personnel
If the explosion or incident occurs outside the building on or near campus property you may be required to shelter-in-place.
- Remain where you are.
- Close all doors and windows and remain inside the building.
- Do not exit until instructed it is safe to do so.
- Follow instructions issued over the Campus Alerting System.
Emergencies can occur at any time. We all have a responsibility to prepare for the safety of ourselves and our families.
Everyone is encouraged to have an emergency kit for their home to help them cope for up to 72 hours if assistance is delayed in a major emergency. It is also recommended that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you become stranded.
The links below outline some of the recommended items you should include in any kit to help ensure your and your families safety.
Basic Emergency Kit
A kit should be assembled well ahead of an emergency as you may only have minutes to collect essentials. Creating a basic kit may be as easy as putting together items you already have such as food, water and blankets. Your kit should be in a container that is durable and easy to carry such as a duffle bag or suitcase with wheels. Keep your kit in an easily accessible location and tell all members of your household where the kit is located.
- Water (two litres per person per day)
- Food (that won’t go bad such as canned food, energy bars and dried food. Replace food and water once a year.)
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight and batteries
- Radio (battery-powered or wind up)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Special needs items
- prescription medicine
- infant formula and diapers
- equipment for people with disabilities
- pet food and extra water for pets
- Extra keys for your home and vehicle
- Cash (small bills such as $10 and change for payphones)
Vehicle Emergency Kit
- Food, that won’t spoil such as energy bars
- Water, in plastic bottles so they won’t break if frozen (change every six months)
- First aid kit
- Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
- Candle in a deep can and matches
- Wind-up flashlight
- Sand, salt or cat litter
- Antifreeze/winshield washer fluid
- Tow rope
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Warning light or road flares