IMG_20140620_071314Mount Saint Vincent University (the Mount) is committed to prevention of emergencies and has developed many such prevention programs and training to do so. On this page are many examples to help prevent emergencies as well as some links to emergency training. Unfortunately not all emergencies can be prevented and we have included what to do if an emergency occurs.

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The Mount's commitment to safety and security

The safety of Mount students, faculty and employees is a primary concern. In fulfilling this commitment to Occupational Health & Safety, the Mount will provide a safe environment and training to provide a safe campus. Faculty, staff and students are expected to comply with the laws, regulations, rules and policies while on the Mount campus. The Mount does not accept any acts or threats of violence, works to prevent workplace violence, and works to respond appropriately if any incidents occur.

Shuttle Service

Mount Security offers a shuttle service for those on campus who require transportation due to a medical condition, alone at night and concerned, or who are carrying parcels.  

Encouraging Personal Safety

  • Crosswalk Safety - Cross at marked crosswalks only and active any crosswalk safety device such as the walk light button. Always look both directions before crossing. Do not cross until vehicles stop for you.
  • On the Street - When you are both on and off campus, consider the following to ensure your personal safety: walk in groups; avoid dark or deserted areas; be aware of alternate routes and safe places; plan your route and avoid taking shortcuts through untraveled areas; be alert and walk with confidence; familiarize yourself with emergency phone locations; walk near the curb and away from shrubs; never carry large amounts of money or show it in public; if being followed, go to nearest public place; let people know where you will be and at what time you'll be returning; when working alone at night notify Security.
  • Building/Office Safety - Ensure exterior building is secure, do not prop doors open; Immediately remove props from doors; if a door is unable to be secured notify security; keep office and personal property secure at all times; report lost or missing access cards or keys to security; do not lend keys or access cards to anyone.  

Emergency Numbers

Fire, police ambulance911 *If a 911 call is placed, please notify security immediately
Campus security (also is main switch board) 902-457-6111

 

Emergency Phones 

Emergency security phones are located around campus. Emergency phones connect automatically to Security in the Assisi Information Centre, which is staffed 24 hours/day. Emergency phones are located in:

  • Seton Academic Centre lobby
  • RBC North Link (between Seton and the E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre)
  • Rosaria Student Centre (main entrance)
  • Various outside locations on campus (refer to map below)
  • All building elevators

Click here to view and download our Campus Map, showing all outside emergency phone locations.

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation, although in some situations, mitigation may not be possible and agencies may only be able to offer palliative care for the aftermath.

All incidents are reported through campus security at 902-457-6111. Reports will be investigated and recorded by campus security or a delegated authority. Examples of incidents include, but are not limited to: accidents (motor vehicle, slip and fall), breaches in the laws, car break-in, stolen bicycle, calls for assistance, emergencies, violence, threats, or unusual and strange behavior.

Strange or unusual behaviour should be reported as a preventative measure when the behaviour is potentially harmful to one’s self or others, including a change in one’s normal behaviour with tendencies to threats of violence (including harming one’s self), fixation on violence, planning violence, violence, threats and sexual assault. Additional examples of emergencies are outlined below:

Direct or indirect reference to self-harm - Regardless of circumstances or context, references to self-harm should be taken very seriously and a mental health professional should be consulted beginning with reporting it to Security.

Threats and disruptive behavior - Intervention varies with severity of the behavior. Physical violence causing bodily harm and specific threats must be reported immediately to Security. These incidents will be investigated with emphasis on prevention and providing help for those requiring other support.

Drug and alcohol misuse -  In case of an apparent drug overdose or severe drug reaction call 911, followed immediately by Mount Security. Campus security will investigate and share information with professionals who may be needed for follow up after the event. Security will also provide any required medical assistance at the scene until paramedics arrive.

The following is an example of the information you would be required to provide when reporting an incident, to campus security, police and other emergency responder.

Your name (First, Last)
Your location (be as specific as possible)
Your phone number
Description of the event (medical emergency, accident, campus violence etc.)
Number of people involved

Evacuation

In the event that the campus must close, the Mount has a plan to ensure that an evacuation is conducted as quickly and as safely as possible. The Mount community will be informed of the evacuation via either:  web page, voice message, email, and other social media or by staff personally coming to buildings. 

The Mount's Emergency Management Team has the authority to implement a controlled evacuation of the campus for the following crises: 

  • Natural Crisis – including, but not limited to: winter storms, blizzards, hurricanes, floods, lightning strikes 
  • Human Caused Crisis – included, but not limited to: serious criminal activity affecting the Mount, fire any vehicle accident with mass casualties, medical emergencies such as food poisoning or Pandemic. 

In the event that an evacuation is initiated by the Emergency Management Team (EMT), routes for vehicle traffic will be designated. Following these routes will ensure that roadways will remain clear for emergency responders and emergency transportation vehicles. Staff may be posted to direct vehicle traffic flow (if safe to do so). If necessary, buses will be arranged to evacuate personnel to an alternate location or for residence students alternate home until it is safe to return to campus.

If a physical impairment restricts mobility and prevents evacuation of an individual, that individual must self-identify and make arrangements with staff, faculty and students to assist with evacuation prior to an event occurring. This ensures the people near the individual will have a plan and know how to assist in their evacuation.

Types of Lock Downs 

Lock downs must not be confused with the term shelter in place which is designed for weather related emergencies only.

  1. Full Lock Down - There is a major incident or threat of campus violence all entrances to the campus will be closed to prevent people from entering the campus (where physically able to do so). Individuals must stay where they are and not enter buildings.
  2. Partial Lock Down - Doors leading in and out of buildings will be locked and people are not to enter the buildings, See full details in the Campus Violence Prevention Moodle session for full list of actions to take in this event.
  3. Hold & Secure - Due to an event not on the campus and we want to keep people on the campus to keep them from moving into harm. In this case it could be due to the police have a barricaded person in a building off campus but nearby. In this case the Mount would function normally with the exception of people leaving the campus until the “all clear”.

All Clear is a message that will be sent to everyone we can via the self-registry of email and through the other campus multi media. The All Clear signals the lock downs are no longer in place and it is safe to resume a normal campus.

Remember:

  • If you lock yourself in a room do not huddle together, but spread out in the room.
  • When police arrive do not rush up to them, wait until they tell you what to do and show them the palms of your hands at all times.

Code Adam 

Code Adam is a program activated for lost or abducted children, designed to protect youth on campus. When activated, every employee with a portable radio on campus is involved in the search for the child. 

Definition of Violence 

Violence means:

(i) Threats, including a threatening statement or threatening behaviour that gives an individual reasonable cause to believe that they are at risk of physical injury,

(ii) Conduct or attempted conduct of a person that endangers the physical health or physical safety of an individual, including sexual assault and assaults. 

If you are in a developing violent situation or crisis, the following is a list of actions that are recommended. It should be noted that these types of incidents are unpredictable. The general rules in an emergency or violent situation are to Run (if safe to do so), Hide (when not safe to get out), and Fight (if you have no other options). The guidelines below are recommendations that are based on best practices. You may have to alter some of these suggestions, depending on the situation.

      1. Exit the building immediately if it is safe to do so
      2. Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately
      3. Call Security (902.457.6111) and/or 911, and provide the following information: Your name and location; describe the incident (including location - be specific as possible); number and description (or identity) of people involved (if known).

Violence Prevention FAQ

Training Module 

The Mount has developed a training module that focuses on violence prevention. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to go through the 20-30 minute demonstration.

'Shelter in Place'

Shelter in Place is for an environmental or weather related situation, where it may be necessary to keep all occupants within the campus, to protect them from an external situation. Examples may include chemical spills, blackouts, explosions or extreme weather conditions. 

Note: This is different from 'lockdown', an emergency protocol to prevent people or information from escaping, which can only be ordered by someone in command i.e. Emergency Management Team or Security. Lockdown is used to protect people inside a facility from a dangerous external event.

Weather Emergency Guidelines

Weather changes quickly and can highly influence the university. The following is a list of guidelines to deal with weather emergencies.

Snow or ice storms

  • Access the Mount website for school closure updates at msvu.ca
  • Visit the weather centre for current updates and class cancellations
  • Listen to local weather advisories on the radio 
  • Watch for local news updates on television 

Hurricanes and windstorms:

  • Move toward the centre of the building or toward any office areas that do not have glass windows
  • Remain in a designated safe area until the threat has passed
  • Try to find something heavy to hide under (such as a large desk)
  • Protect yourself physically, especially your head and neck
  • Do not run outside as falling debris may cause injury

Power blackout:

  • Remain calm and stay where you are.
  • Emergency lighting for evacuation purposes on campus will operate for a minimum of 20 minutes  
  • Turn off all electrical equipment with manual switches
  • Unplug your computer to protect equipment from possible power surges when the power returns
  • Contact Security if you require assistance contacting any emergency services

Stranded on Campus:

As soon as an emergency situation has been declared, individuals should assess their personal safety when deciding whether to stay or leave the University. Should you decide to stay in your location, you are asked to call Security to inform them of your location. The Mount's Security will also check all buildings for stranded people and will advise them to communicate with Housing and Conference Services Centre for assistance. Please refer to the University Storm Policy for more details.

Know your Evacuation Route / Know an Alternative Route / Remain Calm

If you discover a fire:

  • Close the door to the fire area
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm
  • Proceed to an assembly area away from the building (at least 100 ft /30 metres from exit)
  • Do not re-enter the building until the ‘all clear’ signal is given

When the Alarm System is activated:  

  • Building occupants are alerted of possible fire emergency by bells
  • The location of the fire is automatically identified and the fire department is notified 
  • Smoke and fire separation doors close automatically 
  • Magnetic locking devices on doors release
  • Air handling systems shut down to help control smoke movement
  • Elevators stop functioning 

Upon hearing an alarm: 

  • Always leave the building immediately by the designated exit 
  • If the primary exit is dangerous, use the nearest safe alternate exit 
  • DO NOT use the elevators
  • Proceed to an assembly area at least 100 ft (30 metres) away from the exit
  • Keep entrance ways, access ways and the roadway clear 
  • Await instructions from Staff / Security 

If you encounter smoke:

  • Crouch low to the floor and take shallow breaths 
  • If possible, place a moist cloth over your mouth and nose, and proceed to the nearest safe exit 
  • If you are trapped by a fire, it may be safer to stay in your current location 
  • Let someone know that you are there
  • Call Security

If necessary, a closed door can provide good protection against fire and smoke 

Remember: Do not use elevators / Do not re-enter until the ‘all clear’ is given / Fire extinguishers are intended only for small fires

Fire Extinguishers  

Fire classifications: 

  • Class A Wood, paper, textiles 
  • Class B Flammable liquids & gases 
  • Class C Electrically energized fire 

To operate a fire extinguisher:  

  • Pull the pin 
  • Aim at the base of the flame 
  • Squeeze the handle to release contents 
  • Sweep the fire slowly from side to side, covering it with the extinguishing agent.

To ensure the safety of yourself and someone else:

  1. Call Security and or 911 (note: if off campus, dial 911).
  2. Advise the dispatcher of the nature of the injury or illness and the location (building, street address and floor/room number)
  3. Do not move the injured person unless there is a high risk of further injury or death (i.e. a fire)
  4. Keep calm and do not leave the person unattended

Medical First Responders

Provide first aid only if qualified and wait for campus security to arrive and assess whether the injury is considered critical (you may also be qualified to do so). On campus, Mount Security are Medical First Responders (MFR first aid trained) and will be dispatched to the situation to provide emergency assistance. There are MFR first aid kits and defibrillator at various locations on campus and security will bring them or have someone retrieve them as required.

Reporting

All medical injuries require the completion of a Mount Saint Vincent University Injury/Incident Report. These reports are available at Security, located at the Assisi Information Desk.

Upon receiving a threat by phone, remain on the line as long as you can. Listen closely to the caller and background sounds to help identify where the person is calling from. 

  • Call campus security and 911 for investigation and response.
  • If received by mail or e-mail, provide to security.

If an evacuation is required, leave through nearest fire exit unless you have been directed by security, police or staff to take an alternate route. Once outside, move as far away from the building as possible and away from parked cars. 

Early reporting is essential to successfully responding to an infectious disease outbreak. Everyone on campus is responsible for notifying their direct supervisor, faculty member, medical office, when they are aware of an infectious disease incident. Supervisors and/or Department Heads are required to report any case of a notifiable infectious disease and must ensure all available information of an incident is provided to Mount Security and Health services.

Examples of infectious diseases include: 

  • Pandemic
  • Hepatitis
  • Anthrax 
  • Meningitis 
  • Tuberculosis

Note there are hand wash stations all over campus and we encourage everyone to use them to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. If you find a hand wash station that is not working contact campus security to have it re-filled.

If you detect a suspicious odour:

  • Leave the area immediately and wait to assist responders with information
  • Call Security 

Describe the location of the odour and the characteristics of the odour (e.g. what does it smell like?). Relay any other pertinent information that may be relevant to the situation. 

When notification to the campus is required, you will receive updates via:

  • The Mount's website (msvu.ca)
  • Broadcast voicemail (to all campus phones)
  • Social media (Facebook.com/MountSaintVincentUniversity and Twitter @MSVU_Halifax)
  • E-mail (to your Mount account) 
  • Verbal and face-to-face communication

Emergency notifications will provide a short description of the emergency and what you are asked to do (i.e. an evacuation).

The Mount’s mass notification system, called Mount Alert, will quickly notify students, faculty and staff of emergencies that could present a threat to personal safety. The system will also notify the Mount community about unplanned campus closures, for example due to severe weather. Students, faculty and staff are required to sign-up to receive these alerts, and will be sent a link to log-in to the system via e-mail to your @msvu.ca e-mail address.



 Mass Notification FAQ