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Friday, September 05, 2014

EMERGENCY DRILL INFORMATION FOR FACULTY & STAFF

Antelope Valley College will begin conducting monthly emergency drills to be better prepared for emergencies. Drills will occur in certain zones – not the entire campus. (See map)

Upcoming Drills

The September 2014 drill will be for Drill Zone 6 (daytime & nighttime) and Drill Zone 8 (nighttime make-up only) on September 16, 2014 at 11:15 am and 7:10 pm

Start times (i.e. times when alarms will be sounded and/or strobes will be activated) for these evacuation drills will be on September 16th at 11:15 a.m. and again at 7:10 pm.  Drill Zone 6 will have daytime AND nighttime drills and Drill Zone 8 will have only the nighttime drill.  (Please see the list of buildings and areas within each Zone as listed in the “drill cycle” section below.)  This is a work in progress about which we will learn more during and after each drill so that we can continuously improve.  We are drilling on a simple “Building Evacuation.”  The first two cycles of drills (November 2012 through October 2013 and November 2013 through October 2014) will be on the pages titled “Building Evacuation” and “Evacuation of Disabled” in the “Emergency Procedures” yellow flip book which is posted in classrooms and other various locations on campus.  Please review these pages with your students and staff prior to your drill date and time, which will be announced during the month prior to your drill date.

Where to go, what to do when you evacuate

Please make sure that you evacuate to the assembly area for the area in which you find yourself during the drill.  This can be determined by looking at the “Area Evacuation Map” posted at numerous locations around campus as well as on-line.  The assembly areas, for the most part, are at the outer perimeters of the parking lots.  Do not remain in close proximity to the building that you just evacuated.  We located our evacuation assembly areas for all scenarios and standing next to a burning building or a building with a bomb in it is the wrong thing to practice. 

Even if there are multiple exits from your building and there is only 1 exit arrow drawn from your building on the “Area Evacuation Map”, you should exit via the shortest safest route to your assembly area.  If each building exit had an arrow drawn from it, the “Area Evacuation Map” would look like a plate of spaghetti and be too confusing.

People must take their personal items with them when they evacuate.  Do not lock your doors upon exiting because this will impede the progress of the fire department or other First Responders in the event of true emergency requiring evacuation.

People must not return to the building from which they evacuated until given the ALL CLEAR by a dean, director, vice president, president, sheriff’s department official or fire department official.

The drill cycle

We will perform drills (requiring evacuations) per drill zones instead of campuswide.  The following schedule represents the month of emergency drills for each of our eight drill zones:

Month Drill Zone
January Drill Zone 1 – A, SSV, SCT
February Drill Zone 2 - FA1-FA4, PA, NORTH & SOUTH ATHLETIC FIELDS, MS1-4, T850-1
March Drill Zone 3 – BE, L, LC, T100
April Drill Zone 4 – LH, OF1, GYM, HS001, T800, SA, S1 – S9, SR, SBS, TE6, TE8
May Drill Zone 5 – LS1, LS2, ME, OF2, OF3, SS1, TE1, TE2
September Drill Zone 6 – APL, CDC, CSUB
October Drill Zone 7 - HS
November Drill Zone 8 - FS, GH1-4, RW, T501-4, TE3-4, TE7, NCP (Special nighttime make-up drill in September 2014.)

Drill scheduling

The drills will rotate from a Monday/Wednesday schedule during the first year of drills to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule the following year so that both schedules participate in drills every other year. We will have two drills per month with one held during day classes and one held during evening classes of the same day.  Notice of the date and times for each month’s drills will be given the month prior to the drill.  NOTE:  We will NOT conduct drills during the 8th or 16th week of instruction in either semester.  If the evacuation alarms sound and/or strobes activate during those weeks, it is NOT a drill.

The Palmdale Center and the Fox Field Site will also have building evacuation drills. Logistics and assignments will be different from the Lancaster campus.  (Additionally, all 3 locations will have yearly Active Shooter Drills that are not to be confused with our Emergency Evacuation Drills.  The Active Shooter Drills are conducted site-wide rather than by Drill Zone and have, so far, required shelter-in-place activities rather than evacuations.)

Assignment of duties

Every staff member has a responsibility as Disaster Service Workers, per Government Code 3100, for performing certain duties in times of emergency. Specific assignments are outlined and additional assignments may be given via the chain of command.  The following duties represent levels of performance to be worked toward, but the first two cycles of emergency evacuation drills (November 2012 through October 2014) will be on simple building evacuations with no additional scenarios or complications. For example, no one will be asked to simulate an injury or remain in the building. When we see evidence of proficiency at the basics of building evacuation, we will begin drilling on more challenging scenarios.

Escort people to evacuation areas

Faculty members, managers and supervisors will escort their students, employees and visitors to their designated evacuation assembly areas and:

  • Determine who did not arrive
  • Seek medical attention for the injured
  • Make note of hazards in their areas during egress

Reports of missing or injured people and hazards will be made to their deans or directors.

Manager responsibilities

Deans and directors will proceed to the evacuation assembly areas designated for their personnel and confer with them to determine who may need rescue and the last known location(s) of the missing. The deans and directors will assign their personnel further activities, which may include providing assistance to the injured, relocating groups of people, or responding to the emergency command post to assist as necessary.  Deans and directors will then either continue on to the emergency command post to report to their respective assistant superintendents/vice presidents or make these reports via radio.

Executive responsibilities

The assistant superintendents/vice presidents and executive directors will travel to the emergency command post and either meet with their deans, directors, and supervisors at that location, or communicate via 2-way radio with their deans, directors, and supervisors from that location, and be briefed by their respective deans, directors, and supervisors of any students, staff members, and/or visitors whose presence was not accounted for at their evacuation assembly area and the names of students, staff members and visitors whose presence was noted at other than their evacuation assembly area. The main objective will be to determine who may be trapped or injured so severely that they cannot reach an evacuation assembly area and require rescue. The assistant superintendents/vice presidents and executive directors will give the deans, directors, and supervisors instructions for further activities.

Superintendent/president responsibilities

The superintendent/president is responsible for the control and welfare of the students. The superintendent/president (or designee in the absence of the superintendent/president) directs the college staff in the implementation of emergency procedures and the assignment of duties as outlined. After the people present on campus have evacuated to an appropriate evacuation assembly area, the superintendent/president will be briefed by the assistant superintendents/vice presidents, executive directors, director of security, and director of public and governmental relations (public information officer) at the location of the emergency command post on the information gathered from their personnel after which the superintendent/president will give them direction for further activities.  He/she will brief the Board of Trustees as necessary and to the extent possible on the state of affairs as the situation permits.

CERT personnel responsibilities

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trained personnel will report to the emergency command post after completing any other duties outlined herein. They may then be directed to perform a variety of activities including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Conduct search and rescue operations.
  2. Evacuate and escort any remaining personnel from affected building(s).
  3. Survey buildings for damage and re-entry.
  4. Perform first aid.
  5. Establish long-term care priorities.

Facilities personnel responsibilities

Facilities Department personnel will be responsible for the use of emergency equipment, the handling of emergency supplies, and the safe use of available utilities. They will:

  1. Survey the campus and report damage through their chain of command.
  2. Assist in rescue operations as directed (examples: rig and operate lifting equipment and cutting torches to liberate victims trapped by or beneath structural components).
  3. Assist in disaster fire suppression activities if trained and directed to do so.
  4. Assist in controlling main shut-off valves for gas, water, and electricity.
  5. Disburse emergency equipment as needed.

Clerical staff responsibilities

Clerical staff will help provide for the safety of essential school records and documents, operate telephones, and act as messengers and couriers when directed.

Cafeteria staff responsibilities

Cafeteria staff will make food stock and water available to campus emergency service providers whenever feeding becomes necessary during a disaster.

Administrator on duty responsibilities

Even though the administrator on duty will no longer be regularly present on campus during the evening hours, the administrator on duty will be contacted immediately by telephone and apprised of the emergency situation by campus security and will, in turn, report this information directly to the superintendent/president or his or her designee and to the executive director of marketing and public information (public information officer).  The Administrator on Duty will travel to campus and will direct the college staff in the ongoing implementation of Emergency Procedures and the assignment of duties as outlined until the superintendent/president or his or her designee assumes control of the emergency situation.

Miscellaneous Assignments for the first two cycles of drills – Various Administrative Council personnel will volunteer in advance to serve as highly visible crime deterrents along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department AVC Unit personnel and AVC Maintenance & Operations personnel during emergency drills that are held in drill zones other than those where the Administrative Council personnel offices are located.  (If the emergency drill is held for their Drill Zone, they must participate as an evacuee.)  When they serve in a crime deterrent role, they will be posted inside and outside of buildings being evacuated and will be identified as non-evacuees to fire and police personnel by wearing lime green reflective vests.  They will carry radios and report observed suspicious activity to the sheriff’s department AVC unit via radio channel 3.

Additional tips from Los Angeles County Fire Department through lessons learned on-scene and from studies after the fact in regards to such disastrous events as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, etc.

Evacuating handicapped persons

The best means of evacuating handicapped people from our two- and three-story buildings is the EVAC chairs.  However, during drills, people are advised to NOT actually use them because of the risk of injury to the evacuee or rescuer. Mobility impaired individuals should be allowed to evacuate the building, prior to drill start times, as they would normally leave the building (i.e. using the elevators).  At the start of drills, elevators will descend to the ground floor, open, and cease to operate.  It was further suggested to allow mobility impaired personnel to get as much as a 10-minute head start during drills with the expectation that they would travel to the evacuation assembly area and wait for the remainder of their group to arrive if they reached their destination early.  [You can also simulate the evacuation of a mobility impaired person by having one or two other people leave the room with a mobility impaired person and move to the site of an EVAC chair, read the instructions printed on it, take it off its mounting brackets and deploy the chair, and EITHER refold it and replace it back on its mounting brackets before moving to the elevator to exit the building and travel to the evacuation assembly area with the mobility impaired person OR use it without an occupant to travel down the stairs and to the evacuation assembly area and return it properly to its mounting brackets when the ALL CLEAR is given.  DO NOT ALLOW STUDENTS TO RIDE ON THE EVAC-CHAIRS.

Do not have anyone delay their evacuation by clearing rooms.  Do not send anyone back into buildings to clear rooms.

For classrooms, conference rooms and other areas evacuated, have the instructors and/or supervisors and/or sponsors do their best to make a headcount by numbers of people – names are not as important to the fire department - at the evacuation assembly area (whether by roll sheet or memory) and report to their deans and/or managers to the best of their knowledge if anyone did not make it out.  If so, the fire department will go in to find them.

For classrooms, conference rooms and other areas evacuated, have the instructors and/or supervisors and/or sponsors do their best to make a headcount by numbers of people – names are not as important to the fire department - at the evacuation assembly area (whether by roll sheet or memory) and report to their deans and/or managers to the best of their knowledge if anyone did not make it out.  If so, the fire department will go in to find them.

Active Shooter Drills

Reports of Active Shooter types of events are seen in the news on almost a weekly basis. We must continue to prepare for emergency situations that could occur at our facilities.

As we look forward to continued findings on several promising applications to our mass communication capabilities at AVC, we will continue with our scheduled Active Shooter Drill on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:45-10am and 7:20-7:35pm at Palmdale Center.  We must see how we perform now - absent from any enhanced capabilities beyond what we already have which includes a rudimentary phone tree that can be most useful during normal daytime business hours but not very effective during evening hours. So the drill will come down to everyone participating at the appointed times per the instructions listed in our "EMERGENCY PROCEDURES" yellow flip books on the page titled "VIOLENT OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR" which reads as follows:

“If in a room or building and you hear gunfire, lock your door(s) from the inside if the door(s) can be locked, call campus security to describe what you heard and give them your building name and room number, turn off room lights (whether day or night), and then take shelter so that you are not visible through a window to anyone outside of the window. Remain sheltered in place until campus security notifies you to take other action.”

Additional information: If outside a room or building and you hear gunfire, move away (RUN) from the gunfire if you can tell from where it is coming or if unsure seek a hiding place (HIDE) whether indoors or outdoors. Be prepared to fight (FIGHT) if discovered and your life or safety is in jeopardy.

FOR PURPOSES OF THE DRILL:

1) Pretend that you hear gunfire at the appointed times (i.e. 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and take the precautions listed in the paragraphs above with the exception of calling campus security for this drill. Real active shooter lock downs typically remain in effect for hours. REPEAT - Do not call campus security for the drill - The drill will be campus-wide but only a much smaller population of the campus would hear gunfire if a weapon's discharge were to occur on campus.

2) To present as little interruption to the instructional process and supporting work as possible, but still hone our skills in dealing with an Active Shooter event, the drill will remain in effect for only 15 minutes (i.e. from 9:45-10am and 7:20-7:35pm) during which time Faculty, Staff, Students, and Visitors will be expected to take the actions listed above and not call any attention to themselves. At the end of your respective 15-minute drill time, pretend that you have received the "All Clear" and resume normal activities.

3) During both daytime and nighttime drills, Rave Mobile Safety will be utilized to announce the drills at 9:45 a.m. and at 7:35 p.m. and to give the "All Clear" at 9:45 a.m. and at 7:35 p.m. You may direct Rave Mobile Safety to text emergency alerts (including disaster preparedness/emergency response drills) to your cell phone by following the instructions included at the bottom of this communication. Whether you are elect to receive these messages on your cell phones or not, your participation in the drills for which you are present is expected as described above.

4) Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employees -- assisted by maintenance and grounds personnel during the daytime drill and with custodial personnel during the evening drill -- will act as rapid screeners of rooms to determine if there are non-participants. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees will also conduct an Active Shooter exercise during our drill in which they will practice tracking and neutralizing a mock Active Shooter. To those within hearing range of the apprehension, this activity will sound very real so be prepared.

If non-participation is discovered -- evidenced by business as usual in the room such as lights still on, noise from inside the room, people easily visible through the window, door handle being depressed on doors that can be locked from the inside -- during a rapid walk-thru of each occupied building on campus, the room number will be noted and the reason(s) for non-participation will be determined post drill. Officials hope not to have any incidents of non-participation.

5) The National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 101 defines the Life Safety Code for all facilities including campuses. Failure to participate in an emergency drill can result in fines being levied upon the District by OSHA as well as the fire marshal. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Fire Code has regulations governing fire safety, evacuation and lockdown plans and associated drills. Furthermore, individuals who resist, interfere, or disobey lawful orders of firemen or public officers (including law enforcement officers) are subject to citation or arrest.

Thank you in advance for your participation and cooperation.

REGISTRATION FOR RAVE MOBILE SAFETY:

To advance our ability to connect with you in an emergency, Antelope Valley College has partnered with Rave Mobile Safety for emergency alert services. These services are capable of delivering messages via text messaging to your cell phone, your AVC Gmail and personal email addresses, and voice messaging to your home and cell phones.

Current Faculty, Staff, and Students of AVC have been enrolled with your AVC Gmail account. For fastest possible delivery we encourage you to update your information by adding your cell phone for text messaging. (Please note: standard fees may apply through your provider for texting)

To manage your settings, and add your cell, please visit MyAVC, http://myavc.avc.edu. Select the Home Tab. To the right you'll find the Campus Alerts module. Click the 'Update notification preferences' button.

With this control panel you can enable, or disable, your preferred methods of notification, and return anytime to update. You may enter up to three phone numbers or email addresses in each area: Mobile Phones, Voice Only, & Email. These services will only be used in the event of an emergency or a weather related closure.

The general public can sign up as well, through the Rave Mobile Safety link on the AVC Home Page, http://www.avc.edu. If you have any questions, please contact AVC's Help Desk at help@avc.edu, or by calling extension 6535 on campus.