Safety Procedures


When to call 911?

You should call 911 in ALL EMERGENCIES

What is an emergency?An emergency is any immediate threat to life and/or property that requires immediate response from police, fire, or ambulance personnel. Your judgment often determines whether an incident is an emergency. If you consider a situation to be an emergency, then it is an emergency and the procedures in this text should be followed. If in doubt, err on the side of safety!

When reporting an emergency:

Stay on the line with the dispatcher.Provide the address, location, and a description of the emergency.Provide the phone number at your location.Provide a thorough description of the incident to ensure the appropriate resources are dispatched.

If you have an emergency, dial 911. IMPORTANT: Because cell phone 911 calls are directed to the Pope County Dispatch Center through cell towers without exact location displayed, be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher of your exact location on the ATU campus.

University Department of Public Safety and the Russellville Fire Department are staffed 24 hours a day for your assistance and protection. This service is provided seven days a week on a year-round basis.

Emergency Telephone System Call Boxes (Blue Light Phones) are placed in various locations around campus. Each box is equipped with a push button that puts you in direct communications with the 911 dispatcher.

Reporting crimes in progressIf you are a victim or a witness to any in-progress criminal offense, report the incident as soon as possible by dialing 911. You should attempt to provide as much of the following information as possible:

Nature of the incident - MAKE SURE you inform the dispatcher that the incident is IN PROGRESS!Location of the incidentDescription of suspects involvedInjuries that have occurredDescription of weapons involvedDescription of property involved

Stay on the line with the dispatcher until help arrives. Keep the dispatcher updated on any changes so responding units can be updated. Even if you cannot communicate, keep the line open. The dispatcher may be able to learn more about what is happening.

Reporting crimes NOT in progressIf you have become a victim of a crime and it is NOT an emergency or life-threatening situation, telephone the local jurisdictional Police Department or the 911 Dispatch Center non-emergency number at 479.968.0911; be prepared to provide at least the following information:

Your nameYour addressYour telephone numberA brief synopsis of what occurredYour exact location at the time of the call (room or apartment number, campus building, etc.)


The procedures for a campus-wide evacuation will vary, depending on the nature of the event. In all cases when the decision has been made to evacuate, the campus response will likely be to evacuate in stages, beginning with areas in the immediate vicinity of the threat. Other areas may then be evacuated, depending on the nature of the threat. This graduated evacuation is preferable to a total, immediate evacuation, as it triages the populations most in danger, minimizes likelihood of gridlock and congestion, and provides for ingress of emergency vehicles and personnel. In all cases, evacuees would be directed away from the vicinity of the threat.

Building Evacuation Procedures

Upon activation of the building fire alarm system or verbal command by emergency personnel to evacuate a building:

All occupants shall evacuate the building immediately.Personnel shall evacuate by means of the nearest available marked exit. Buildings on the ATU campus are public access buildings and comply with the Arkansas State Fire Code for location, number, and marking for means of exit. Other exit signs will have arrows directing you to exits which are not visible from your current location.Remember that it is the responsibility of the building faculty and staff to ensure that all occupants report to the Emergency Assembly Area.Individuals who cannot evacuate a building without assistance should follow the procedures below:Take refuge in a safe area and await assistance.Faculty or staff members in the building should be assigned to assist individuals that need assistance in evacuating the building to a safe location. The individuals that need assistance should make their way to the nearest exit and await assistance in exiting the building.

During evacuation, it is the duty and responsibility of all faculty and staff, as they evacuate, to look for any person who may need any assistance and to notify emergency personnel outside the building. Employees should advise any individual whom they observe are not evacuating to exit the building immediately. Once outside employees should notify emergency personnel about any individual whom they know to have remained inside the building.If it is safe to do so, occupants should look throughout their office areas, especially back offices, to ensure that everyone has left or is in the process of leaving. Any problems noted should be brought immediately to the attention of responding personnel or called in to the ATU DPS via 911.Once outside, it is the responsibility of faculty and staff to assist in moving people to the Emergency Assembly Area (EAA) and to ensure that no persons remain near the exit. This is to ensure that other people are not blocked from exiting the building and will enhance the ability of first responders to more effectively confront the emergency.Faculty should make every attempt to take role and ask students if any peers are missing from class or who have informed others they were leaving.All employees shall assist emergency personnel and ensure nobody attempts to smoke, because it may make the situation worse. The evacuation may be the result of a gas leak inside or outside the building, a chemical spill, or other situation in which smoking poses a serious danger to all.All employees should assist in ensuring that nobody enters the building until emergency personnel have given the clearance to re-enter the building. Many times the audible alarms are silenced to allow emergency personnel to communicate within the building. The silencing of alarms is NOT a signal to re-enter the building.People visiting the university should be assisted in evacuation by those who they are visiting or by any employee who sees someone having difficulty or not evacuating.


Shelter-in-Place is a precaution aimed to be safe while remaining indoors. This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm. Shelter-in-place means to select a small, interior room, with no or few windows and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off the building.

A shelter-in-place order may be issued for several reasons:

Hazardous materialsIntruder on campusHostage situationAny situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid an outside threatThe reason for the shelter-in-place order may not be immediately communicated to everyone. If a shelter-in-place order is issued occupants should be alert for instructions and updates as they become available from the emergency personnel and university administrators through the ATU Alert System or other means of communications. If there are others in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay-not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are - not to go outdoors or leave. Sheltering in place is the safest way to avoid potentially life threatening situations which may exist outside of your immediate location.

When an alert or other notification is received to shelter-in-place the following steps should be taken immediately:

Stop classes or work; cease all business operations.Stay in your classroom/work area with all doors locked.Attempt to proceed to an area/room that can be secured.Lock, and/or barricade the door with furniture and equipment.Close blinds or cover windows with other available materials.Turn off lights.Remain silent.If trapped in an area where the doors opens outward, such as a restroom, use whatever is available to restrict entry to the room such as:Barricading the area with furniture/equipment, orUsing a belt or other available items to secure the door handle to a stable fixture.

Move away from the door, do not huddle, and spread out.Put cell phones on silent/vibrate, and if communication is needed, use text messaging.Remember - your cell phone gives off light when used if you are in the dark.Remain under Lockdown until advised by the ATU Public Safety, Campus Administrators, or by members of the ATU Emergency Response Team.Once Public Safety arrive, obey all commands, and keep hands up in the air where they can see them.Leave the campus ONLY if it is safe to do so.After the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, building emergency coordinators, faculty, and staff should attempt to restore normalcy, comfort and assist all occupants, determine their needs, and appoint a liaison to alert officials.


In all cases when a faculty, staff, student, or visitor becomes aware of fire and or smoke, the Fire Department MUST be notified immediately. Go to the nearest safe location and activate the fire alarm system at the pull station as you evacuate the building. If possible, telephone 911 after you exit the building.

Give them the following information:

Name of the building.Location of the fire within the building.A description of the fire and (if known) how it started.

Evacuate the building following the established building evacuation procedures.

Know the location of fire exits and alarm systems in your area, and know how to use them.

If you become trapped in a building during a fire:

Stay calm, and take steps to protect yourself.If possible, move to a room with an outside window.If there is a telephone, call 911 and tell the dispatcher where you are. Do this even if you can see fire department personnel from the window.Stay where rescuers can see you through the window, and wave a light-colored item to attract their attention.Stuff clothing, towels, or paper around the cracks in the door to help keep smoke out of your refuge.Be patient. Rescue of occupants within large structures will take time.


Sprinkler systems and water flow detection devices are present in some buildings on campus.

Smoke detectors are provided where required. REMEMBER, if you have a battery-operated smoke detector, you should change the batteries twice per year. It is recommended that you change your batteries in the fall and spring when clocks are reset for Day Light Savings Time. In residential facilities, battery-powered detectors that sound a low battery signal (a chirping sound at approximately 1-minute intervals) should be reported to University Housing.

Manually activated fire alarm pull stations are located at exit points in buildings. If any sprinkler, heat detector, or pull station is activated, an alarm will sound throughout the building. Some smoke detectors will also activate the building alarm. Elevator Fire Control may cause the building elevators to come to a halt at the main floor upon activation of the fire alarm system. The elevators can be accessed by emergency personnel using a key override.

DO NOT attempt to use the elevators to evacuate any building.

Emergency lighting is provided in some buildings. The lighting will activate automatically in a power failure and last for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Illuminated exit signs are provided throughout the buildings.





If you have an emergency, dial 911. You do NOT need any coins to dial 911 from a pay telephone. Simply lift the handset and dial 911. IMPORTANT: Because cell phone 911 calls are directed to the Pope County Sheriff's Department through cell towers without exact location displayed, be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher of your exact location on the ATU campus.

An individual must use his/her own discretion during an active shooter event or other hostile confrontation as to whether he/she chooses to run to safety or remain in place. However, best practices for surviving such a confrontation are listed below:

Move to a safe location.

Call 911 to report the emergency (see what to report below).Be aware that the 911 system by be overwhelmed due to the volume of calls.Prior to emergency: Program the department of public safety line, into your cell phone (479)968-0222.

What to report:

Your specific location - building name and office/room number.Number of people at your location.Injuries - number injured and type of injuries.Information on assailant(s) - location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing, description, physical features, type of weapons (rifle, shotgun or handgun), backpack, shooter's identity, number of shots fired, etc.

Secure immediate area:

Lock and/or barricade doors.Turn off lights.Close blinds.Block windows.Turn off radios and dim computer screens.Keep calm, quiet and out of sight.To protect yourself from gunfire, take cover behind thick desks, along concrete walls, and against filing cabinets.Silence all cell phones in the immediate area.If injured, place signs in exterior windows.

Leaving a secured area that is in danger of being directly engaged:

Consider risks before leaving.Remember, the shooter generally will need to be stopped by an outside force.Rescue attempts by occupants should only be tried if they can be accomplished without endangering lives. When in doubt, shelter in place and wait for instructions from emergency personnel.Spread outPile desks in front of doorThrow books



The following preparations can be made when a faculty or staff member has a scheduled an appointment with a student or visitor who is known to be potentially disruptive or dangerous:

The faculty or staff member must first consult with their appropriate supervisor.The administrator will develop a plan for vigilance and/or police protection (or standby) if necessary. Decisions will be made as to whether the appointment should or should not be kept because of potential danger.The administrator in charge will notify other office staff members of the date and time of the visit and the role each staff member is to play during the visit.The administrator in charge will arrange to notify surrounding offices as appropriate of the need for vigilance and what police protection has been arranged.

In the event an individual becomes threatening or violent with no prior notice:

Call for police response by calling 911.To obtain help for colleagues: It is appropriate to further assess the situation before calling the police or while waiting for the arrival of the police, call the front office (or other designated location) and use a code word. Preferably the code will be used in a message not alerting the subject of your concern.You may decide to tell the threatening individual that you are summoning assistance however the code word should still be used to alert other office members regarding the nature of the need for assistance.When an office member becomes aware of a request for assistance, using the designated code word, that office member will immediately notify the administrator in charge and other office members in order to assemble a team as appropriate.

If you witness a person acting in an odd or unusual manner or if a person or situation makes you feel uneasy, do not confront them or block their exit, trust your instincts and report it. Call the ATU Public Safety at 479.968.0222.

Be alert for:

People in buildings or areas who do not appear to be conducting legitimate business.People monitoring areas, buildings, or entrances.Unfamiliar people in restricted, sensitive or private areas.People wearing clothing not consistent with the weather conditions (bulky coat in warm weather, etc.).Unattended items in unusual or high traffic areas.Individuals attempting to access utility locations.Unfamiliar vehicles parked for long periods or appear abandoned.Vehicles containing unusual/suspicious materials.Vehicles/delivery trucks arriving and being left at odd hours.



All bomb threats must be treated as a serious matter. To ensure the safety of the faculty, staff, students, and the general public, bomb threats must be considered real until proven otherwise. In most cases, bomb threats are meant to disrupt normal activities. The procedures described below should be implemented regardless of whether the bomb threat appears real or not.


Report the threat to the ATU Public Safety Department immediately. Call 911, (479) 968-0222, or use a blue light emergency phone. Give your name, location, and telephone number. Inform the dispatcher of the situation, reporting the exact words of the threat, including information you may have as to the location of the threat, time of the threat, and time you received the call.

If a suspicious object is observed:

Don't touch it!ATU DPS will handle the evacuation of the area.

All personnel should acquaint themselves with the following procedures:

STAY CALM.If a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered, DO NOT HANDLE THE OBJECT, CLEAR THE AREA, AND CALL 911. Be sure to include the location and appearance of the object when reporting.If a phone call bomb threat is received:DO NOT put the caller on hold.DO NOT attempt to transfer the call.DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE THAT THE CALL CAME IN ON. If possible have someone else use another phone to call 911.

Pay particular attention to background noises, such as running motors, music, or any other noises that may indicate the location from which the call is being made. Record the call if possible.Listen closely to the voice to determine voice quality, accents, speech impediments, sex, or any unusual characteristics.Complete the BOMB THREAT CHECKLIST.

It is highly recommended that all University personnel become familiar with the checklist. A Bomb Threat Checklist should be immediately available - keep the checklist close to the phone.

If an evacuation alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures stated earlier.



Bomb Threat Checklist






CALLER'S NAMEAccentRaceTime of Call











If you have an emergency, dial 911. You do NOT need any coins to dial 911 from a pay telephone. Simply lift the handset and dial 911. IMPORTANT: Because cell phone 911 calls are directed to the Pope County Sheriff's Department through cell towers without exact location displayed, be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher of your exact location on the ATU campus.

Russellville Fire Department and Metro Emergency Medical System (MEMS) personnel are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians. They will respond to medical emergencies on campus. Any injury occurring because of an existing hazardous condition should be reported to the ATU DPS 911 Dispatcher.


The following is a brief summary of the procedures for requesting medical assistance.

Dial 911.Provide:Your name and telephone number.Location of the emergency (Building and Room Number).The extent of the accident/injury and number of people involved.Location where someone will meet the emergency personnel for directing them to the injured.

The individual making the call should continue to stay on the phone with the dispatcher and answer as many questions as possible regarding the condition of the injured person so that information can be forwarded to the responding emergency personnel.

Illness or injury to students, faculty, or staff

Medical assistance can be provided faculty, staff, and students by Student Health Services if the individual needing assistance is ambulatory. Student Health Services provides treatment of minor injuries and illness during scheduled operating hours of 8:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M. Monday - Friday.

Otherwise, call 911 to request assistance from ATU DPS.

Illness or injury to guests and visitors

Call the ATU DPS Dispatcher Center to request emergency medical assistance by dialing 911, (479) 968-0222 or using a blue light emergency phone.

First Aid

If you provide first aid, consider the following:

Is immediate action needed in order to save a life?Will I place myself in harm or jeopardy?




A psychological crisis exists when an individual threatens harm to himself/herself or to others, or is out of touch with reality due to severe drug reactions manifested by hallucinations or uncontrollable behavior.

If a psychological crisis occurs:

Never try to handle a situation you feel is dangerous on your own.Notify ATU Public Safety of the situation by calling 911. Clearly state that you need immediate assistance, give your name, location and the nature of the emergency.

Following a major crisis or disaster, it may be necessary to provide significant psychological counseling intervention for faculty, staff, and students in order to overcome the lingering emotional trauma associated with such an event. Coordination of such counseling will be provided by the Counseling Center.

ATU Counseling Center

During Normal Counseling Center HoursMonday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Student Health Center Dean 126

Call the Counseling Center at (479) 968-0329 to talk immediately with a counselor. You may also, if possible, go directly to the Counseling Center where a counselor will be available to talk with you face-to-face. The counselor will assess the situation and, with you, will decide on an appropriate course of action.

Counseling ServicesThere are many good counseling and psychological service providers in the Russellville area. Referrals are made to these services when warranted.

Drug & Alcohol

Freedom House400 Lake Front Dr.$300 processing; income based


Alcoholics Anonymous


Pregnancy-STD Testing

Pope County Health Unit203 Weir Road


Choices Pregnancy Resource Center311 East 3rd



Ozark Rape Crisis CenterConfidential and Free


Women's Shelter

River Valley Shelter


Other Crisis Telephone Numbers

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

National Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222


Unlike other emergencies, the procedures to deal with an earthquake are much less specific. Since earthquake magnitude cannot be predetermined, everyone must initiate emergency precautions within a few seconds after the initial tremor is felt, assuming the worst possible case.

The best earthquake instruction is to take precautions before the earthquake (e.g., secure or remove objects above you that could fall during an earthquake).


Take cover.Call 911 or use Emergency Call Box if emergency assistance is necessary.Evacuate if alarm sounds or if told to do so by emergency personnel.

During the earthquake:

Remain calm and ACT, don't react.If indoors, seek refuge under a desk or table or in a doorway and huld on. Stay away from windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, utility pules, overhead wires, and other structures. CAUTION: Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be energized. Do not attempt to enter buildings until you are advised to do so by the proper authorities.If in an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably an open area away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle for the shelter it provides.

After the initial shock:

Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are usually less intense than the main quake, but can cause further structural damage.Protect yourself at all times.Evaluate the situation and call 911 for emergency assistance, if necessary.Do not use lanterns, torches, lighted cigarettes, or open flames, since gas leaks could be present.Open windows, etc., to ventilate the building. Watch out for broken glass.If a fire is caused by the earthquake, implement the FIRE PROCEDURES.Determine whether anyone has been caught in the elevators or was trapped by falling objects. If so, call 911.If the structural integrity appears to be deteriorating rapidly, evacuate the building.DO NOT USE THE TELEPHONE UNLESS IT IS NECESSARY FOR EMERGENCIES. Heavy use of the telephone will tie up the lines and prevent emergency calls from going out.Damaged facilities should be reported to ATU DPS (NOTE: Gas leaks and power failures create special hazards.).If an emergency exists, call 911.If the evacuation alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures (see CAMPUS EVACUATION PROCEDURES).Should you become trapped in a building, stay calm!If a window is available, place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews.If there is no window, tap on the wall at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.Emergency Personnel will check buildings immediately after a major quake.


A tornado is defined as a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornados are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Tornados may occur with little or no advance warning or siren activation.

Before the Storm

Locate a basement or corridor shelter location in your building.Stay informed through local media sources on days when severe weather is expected.Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery backup to receive warnings.Keep a good reliable flashlight in your office/work area.

During the Storm - Possible Indicators of a Tornado

Dark, often greenish sky.Large hail.Loud roar, similar to a train.Cloud of debris (the tornado may not be visible).Wind suddenly becomes calm and still.Frequent lightning.Tornados generally occur near the trailing edge of a storm.

When Taking Shelter

Vacate upper floors and move to a lower floor or to the basement of any building that has a basement. (Safe locations have been posted in every building on campus) Position yourself in the safest portion of the area away from glass. Be prepared to kneel facing a wall and cover your head.Occupants of wood-frame or brick buildings with wood floors should leave the building and go directly to a more substantial concrete building, preferably with a basement.

TORNADO WATCHA "Tornado Watch" is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in a given area. Under watch conditions stay informed by listening to radio or television.

TORNADO WARNINGA "Tornado Warning" indicates that a tornado is imminent and poses a definite threat to a given area. If the warning is for your area you should take shelter immediately!

ALL HAZARDS WARNING SIGNALSOutdoor sirens will sound for a period in excess of two minutes. When this occurs, tune into local radio and TV stations to determine the nature of the emergency.A voice message will be broadcast over local radio and television stations.The ALL CLEAR signal is announced by radio and television stations. The sirens remain silent.

OUTDOOR WARNING SYSTEM TESTINGRussellville's outdoor warning sirens are tested at 12:00 p.m. every Wednesday of every month except during periods of adverse weather conditions.

Utility FailureIn the event of a major utility failure occurring during regular working hours (8:00 am - 5:00 pm), remain calm and immediately notify Physical Plant at 968-0261.

If there is a potential danger to building occupants, or if the failure occurs after hours, weekends, or holidays, call ATU Public Safety at 968-0222.

Follow standard evacuation procedures if a building emergency exists. If you are injured or require emergency assistance, remain calm and dial 911.

Power OutageRemain calm. Shortly after loss of power the emergency lighting in your area should be activated. If evacuation is required, assist any disabled persons or others needing assistance and exit by stairway. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. If you are trapped in an elevator use the emergency phone to notify ATU Public Safety.

FloodingCease using all electrical equipment. Unplug all non-essential electrical equipment. Vacate the area and notify the Physical Plant. If after hours, call ATU DPS at 968-0222.

Serious Gas LeakCease ALL operations. DO NOT use any electrical device while in the immediate area as this could cause an explosion. Immediately move out of the area and contact the Physical Plant and ATU Department of Public Safety.



For spills, releases or incidents requiring special training, procedures or personal protective equipment (PPE) that is beyond the abilities of present personnel, take the following steps:

Immediately notify affected personnel and evacuate the spill area.Activate a fire alarm pull station if building evacuation is required.Call 911 to report the incident and be sure to provide the following information:Your name, telephone number, and locationType of incidentName and quantity of the material, if knownExtent of injuries or damage, if any

Evacuate the affected area at once and seal it off to prevent further contamination of others until the arrival of emergency personnel.Anyone who is contaminated by the spill should wash off the contamination; remain in the vicinity, and give his/her name to the emergency personnel. If needed, first aid can be started immediately.No effort to contain or clean up spills and or releases should be made unless you have been trained in the proper methods to do so.Take appropriate steps to make sure no one evacuates through the contaminated area.If an alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures (see Building Evacuation).Do not re-enter the area until directed by emergency personnel.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

Arkansas Tech University is once again buzzing with activity as we move into the fall semester. With classes and activities, come cars and full parking lots, which could attract opportunistic criminals in search of property to steal. Here are some helpful tips that may reduce the risk of crime:


Always lock your car doors. Do not leave valuables in view inside the car. Use an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock. Do not store an extra key under the car/fender/etc. Park where your car can be seen from the street. At night, park in a well traveled and well lighted area.

Personal Safety:

Avoid walking alone at night. Be aware of your surroundings. Use Tech Guardian (968-0222) for a free ride to your car at night. Walk with friends. Park in a well lighted area. Check your car before getting in. Note locations of Blue Light Emergency Phones.