Active Threat Procedures

Procedure number: ERP806
Procedure Title: Active Threat Procedures
Procedure Owner: Director Security Services
Effective Date: November 1, 2011
Last Revised: February 14, 2017

 

On this page

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Lockdown Procedure
  6. Hold and Secure Procedure
  7. Procedure Revision
  8. Specific Links
     

1. Purpose

As part of the Emergency Response Policy Framework, the following procedures are developed to provide general direction to the Mohawk College Community on how to respond during an active threat or violent incident.  These procedures are formed in order to prevent injury, loss of life and to mitigate damage.  There are two distinct procedures, Lockdown, and Hold and Secure based on the specifics of the incident. 

These procedures are a resource tool and provide general principles and guidance as each incident will be unique and unpredictable in nature.
 

2. Application and Scope

These procedures apply to all members of the College community including employees, students, visitors, volunteers and contractors of Mohawk College and is supplementary to the Emergency Preparedness Policy.

The specific lockdown procedures and notification methods at IAHS are different than Mohawk College owned buildings. View McMaster’s procedures
 

3. Definitions

“Active Threat” refers to a current dynamic incident which may involve an imminent danger to the community.

“Emergency Response Team” is a team of individuals identified to respond and manage the actual or potential emergency, typically at the location, or in close proximity to the emergency. This team works under a site incident commander who is in charge of coordinating resources and developing action plans to respond and resolve the emergency.

“Emergency Notification System” refers to a variety of methods of communication to alert the community about an emergency.  A variety of methods are utilized in order to avoid reliance on any one method and to better ensure communication to as many people affected as possible.

“Emergency Operations Control Group” is a senior group responsible for leading, managing, and coordinating emergency planning related to the emergency response and recovery activities. This team works under an incident commander who is in charge of coordinating resources and developing action plans to resolve the emergency.

“Hold and Secure” is a security action used to respond to incidents that could arise from a police action, environmental hazard or weather related activity outside the College that poses no direct threat to people inside the building.  

“Get out, Hide, Fight” are options presented to persons affected by a Lockdown Emergency in order for them to consider, make a decision and act.  

  • Get out – evacuate when possible. When there is an accessible escape path and where you believe the threat is not in that immediate area, attempt to evacuate the premises.
  • Hide – and barricade if evacuation is not possible, in a place where the threat is less likely to gain access.
  • Fight – prepare to attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the threat. This may involve taking aggressive action if you come in contact with the threat and you are in imminent danger of death or serious injury. Fighting is a last resort.

“Lockdown” is a security action used to respond to a direct threat to the safety and well-being of the college community such as a situation involving an individual armed with knife, gun or explosives, a hostage situation or a terrorist attack within the college building.
 

4. Principles

  • Emergency Notification Systems will be tested at minimum semi-annually by Security Services during the academic year.
  • Employees will assist in educating students on Mohawk College emergency procedures at the beginning of each term.  
  • All communication with the media about a Lockdown and the nature of the emergency will be handled according to the ‘Media Relations Procedure.’
  • Emergency Operations Control Group will initiate counseling and trauma services for those involved in the event if necessary.

4.1 Lockdown

  • Members of the College community who view or perceive a threat of violence must immediately report the incident to Security Services or 911 and provide as much information as possible:
    • Nature of threat;
    • Location of suspect(s);
    • Identity of suspect(s), if known;
    • Description of suspect(s);
    • Description of weapons;
    • Possible motive of the suspect(s), if known; and
    • Any known injuries and number of injured
  • The decision to order a Lockdown will be made by Security Services.
  • During a Lockdown disregard the fire alarm system unless threatened by smoke or fire, or otherwise informed.
  • A Lockdown remains in effect until advised via the Emergency Notification System indicating an ‘All Clear.’
  • A Lockdown Practice Drill will always be preceded by an announcement, over the public address system, in advance of the drill. If you do not hear this announcement, assume that the lockdown requirement is real.

4.2 Hold and Secure

  • The decision to order Hold and Secure will be made by Security Services in consultation with Hamilton Police.
  • The Emergency Operations Control Group will determine if it is necessary to cancel classes and release students from areas not immediately affected by a Hold and Secure. 
  • A Hold and Secure remains in effect until advised via the Emergency Notification System indicating an ‘All Clear.’
     

5. Lockdown Procedure

5.1 Security Services Responsibilities

  • Determines a Lockdown Emergency. 
  • Activate College Emergency Notification Systems:
    • Public Address System – a lockdown signal and communication in the form of a recorded announcement will be played over the public address system.
    • College Display Screens - change to display “Lockdown – Go to a Place of Safety Now.”
    • Text Message - Activate Security Alert Messenger (SAM) to send a text message to all registered mobile phones advising of the lockdown and campus location (Fennell or Stoney Creek).
    • Computer Desktop Screens - Change all college connected desktop computer monitors to show Lockdown Message.
    • Alertus Beacons – Activate and display lockdown message and flashing lights.
    • Lockdown Lights in Mechanical Shops – Activate.
  • Coordinates with Emergency Response Team, including police.

5.2 Employees, Students, Visitors Responsibilities

  • Upon receiving the lockdown message or observing a violent incident, act as quickly and calmly as possible.
  • Consider the following options to make a decision and act specific to your situation

OPTION 1: Get Out 
Evacuating if possible.  If you believe the threat is not in that area:

a) Have an escape route and plan in mind;
b) Leave your belongings behind;
c) Help others escape if possible; and
d) Discourage others from entering the area where the threat may be.

OPTION 2: Hide 
Hide and barricade if escape is not possible:

a) Enter and stay in a room or area where you feel safe;
b) Close, secure or barricade doors;
c) Turn out lights;
d) Cover windows and/or stay away from windows;
e) Silence cell phones /use text message only;
f) Stay alert, quiet and out of sight; and
g) Disregard fire alarm signal unless in immediate danger.

OPTION 3: Fight 
As a last resort, and only to protect yourself from serious bodily harm or death, prepare to attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the threat.  This may involve taking aggressive action, such as:

a) Yelling;
b) Throwing items; and/or
c) Improvising weapons.

Remain in a safe place and do not enter the college until an ‘All Clear’ Emergency Notification Message is received.


6. Hold and Secure Procedure

6.1 Security Services Responsibilities

  • Determines a Hold and Secure is required  
  • Activates College Emergency Notification Systems:
    • Public Address System – a Hold and Secure signal and communication in the form of a recorded announcement will be played over the public address system.
    • College Display Screens - change to display “Outside Emergency– All exit doors are now locked.”
    • Text Message - Activate Security Alert Messenger (SAM) to send a text message to all registered mobile phones advising of the Hold and Secure situation and campus location (Fennell or Stoney Creek).
    • Computer Desktop Screens - Change all college connected desktop computer monitors to show Hold and Secure Message.
    • Alertus Beacons – Activate and display Hold and Secure message and flashing lights.
  • Coordinates with Emergency Management Team. 
  • Lock all exterior doors to the College.
  • Monitor the Main Entrance admitting only authorized personnel into the building for the duration of the Hold and Secure Situation.

6.2 Faculty, Staff, Students, Visitors Responsibilities

  • Upon receiving the Hold and Secure message, continue normal operations and remain inside the building
  • If outside the building enter the building or follow directions of police
  • Remain in the building until an All Clear Emergency Notification Message is received. 

 

7. Procedure Revision

7.1 Revision Date

February 2020

7.2 Responsibility

The Director of Security Services will review this policy every three years or earlier when required.

 

8. Specific Links

  • CRP152 Media Relations Procedure
  • ERP802 Fire Alarm Procedure
  • CS-1400-2008 Accidents and First Aid
  • CS-1403-2008 Emergency Response
  • CS-1402-2012 Violence Prevention and Protection