Active Threat

As part of the colleges Emergency Response Plans, the college has developed a procedure to guide general direction of the college community on how to respond during an Active Threat or Violent Incident.   Our Active Threat Procedures encompasses both Lockdown and Hold and Secure Incidents.  Here is the link to our procedure - ERP809 - Active Threat PDF

Active Threat Emergencies Educational Video

Here is a quick summary:

  • “Active Threat” refers to a situation where there is a threat that could pose a danger to the college community.
  • “Hold and Secure” is a term used to describe an incident where access to the college is restricted due to a threat (police action, weather event or environmental hazard) happening nearby but poses no direct threat to people inside the building.
  • “Lockdown” describes the response to a direct threat to the safety and well-being of the college community. This may involve an individual(s) armed with a knife, gun or explosives, a hostage situation or a terrorist attack within the college building.

Hold and Secure Procedures

  • Community is advised of a Hold and Secure situation on campus via the Emergency Notification Systems
  • All exterior doors to the college are locked and all community members are to remain inside
  • Normal college operations, including teaching, will continue
  • Security will continue to monitor situation with Police and will advise of any changes.
  • Emergency remains in effect until an "All Clear" announcement is made via PA and Emergency Notification System.

Lockdown Procedures

  • 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
    • Get out – evacuate if you can.  When there is an escape route and where you believe the threat is not in your immediate area, attempt to evacuate the building and run away from campus.
    • Hide – if you can’t evacuate hide and barricade yourself in a place where the threat is less likely to gain access.
    • Fight – if you can’t get out or hide, be prepared to fight for your life. Be prepared to use nearby objects as weapons and commit to taking aggressive action if you come into contact with the threat and are in immediate danger or death or serious injury. FIGHTING IS A LAST RESORT.
  • Remain in a safe place and do not enter the college until an ‘All Clear’ Emergency Notification Message is received.

Testing and Education

The college is committed to testing their Emergency Notification Systems and providing education on the response procedures during each of the 3 academic terms.  Prior notification, via college email, will occur before each test. 

Emergency Notification System

The college has developed 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.  Here are some of the systems in place at Mohawk College:

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Public Address System - audible message is played over the current Fire Alarm Speaker System




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College Display Screens - regular programming on the hallway LCD screens is interrupted with the Emergency





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Text Messages - activated through the Security Alert Messenger (SAM) to registered

mobile phones - register here




Computer desktop screens - college computers that are active at the time of emergency notification






Alertus Beacons - beacons begin to flash and display the emergency message




Note: Active Threat procedures may be different for the IAHS at McMaster University (opens new window).