Incident Types and Definitions


Quickly determine the best way to protect your life. RUN, HIDE, or FIGHT in areas affected by the active shooter. SHELTER IN PLACE in all other areas.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible to responding police officers


  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock doors
  • Silence cell phones


  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression. Throw items at the shooter if possible

Call 911 or Public Safety at (413) 572-5262 when it is safe to do so.


  • Activate the fire alarm system by pulling a fire alarm station on your way out of the building.
  • If time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves/ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make a dangerous situation even worse.
  • Leave the building via the nearest exit. Warn others as you leave.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Feel doors before opening; if a door is hot, don’t open it.
  • Close doors and windows as you leave if safe to do so.
  • Report the fire by calling 911 once outside.
  • If trapped, keep the doors closed and place cloth under them to keep out smoke. Signal for help by hanging an object (e.g., such as a jacket or shirt) out of the window to attract attention.
  • Remain at least three hundred (300) feet away from the building and await further instructions. Keep roadways open and beware of approaching emergency vehicles. Notify emergency responders of anyone trapped inside, especially anyone with a physical disability who cannot evacuate.
  • Do not go back in the building for any reason until an authorized University official deems it safe to re-enter.
  • You may be asked to Shelter In Place in unaffected areas of the campus.


Bomb threats usually come by telephone. If you receive a bomb threat call, remain calm and obtain as much information as possible from the caller:

  • When will the bomb explode?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who placed the bomb?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why did you place the bomb?
  • How many bombs are there?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your name?

Notify Public Safety by calling (413) 572-5262 immediately to give the information you have obtained.
Describe the caller’s voice, any background noises you heard, and the exact wording of the message.
Do NOT pull the fire alarm to evacuate the building.
Do NOT touch suspicious packages. Inform Public Safety of suspicious packages, items or people in the area.
Follow instructions from first responders in regards to evacuation assembly areas.
You may be asked to Shelter In Place in unaffected areas of the campus.


Do not open the suspicious item. If you have opened it, remain calm.

  • Notify Public Safety at (413) 572-5262 immediately.
  • Do not move the letter or package or examine it further.
  • Keep others out of the area. Close off the area if possible.
  • If possible, limit the use of two-way radios and cell phones near the suspicious item.
  • Do not attempt to clean or cover anything that might have spilled from a package.
  • If the package is leaking a substance or powder and you came into contact with the substance, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth, or any part of your face. Do not touch others or let others touch you.
  • Follow all instructions given by emergency responders.


All crimes should be reported to the Public Safety Department at (413) 572-5262. Public Safety personnel will respond and will call local police for assistance if necessary. If you witness a crime in progress call Public Safety immediately. Give your name, location, and phone number. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to do so. Remain at the location until an officer contacts you unless it is not safe to do so. If you prefer to report a crime anonymously, visit the Silent Witness Form on the Public Safety site at


  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Do not attempt to clean up the spill.
  • Remove yourself and others from the area.
  • Close doors to isolate the area.
  • If anyone had contact with the hazardous material, they should be isolated and await treatment by emergency personnel. Do not leave the site until you are cleared by emergency responders.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm unless there is a fire.
  • Provide first responders with information about the spill, spill area, and chemical(s).
  • Evacuate the building if first responders issue the Evacuation order.
  • Re-enter the building only when an “all clear” is provided by first responders.


  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Give your name, location, and telephone number.
  • Give as much information as possible regarding the nature of the injury or illness, whether or not the victim is conscious, etc.
  • Do not hang up until directed to do so by the emergency operator.
  • Return to the victim; administer first aid, if you know how; and keep the victim as calm and comfortable as possible.
  • Do not move a seriously injured person unless there is a life threatening situation.
  • Remain with the victim. A Public Safety Officer will respond immediately to the scene and will summon additional medical personnel if necessary.


If you are in contact with a student who appears to be an immediate threat to his or her own safety or that of others, call Public Safety at (413) 572-5262. Quick reference for helping students having difficulties.

Recognize Symptoms:

  • Significant change in academic performance or classroom conduct.
  • Unusual behavior or appearance.
  • Traumatic event or change in relationships.
  • Reference to suicide, homicide, or death.

Respond to the Student:

  • Speak privately with student.
  • Directly and candidly discuss your observations and concerns.
  • Offer support and assistance.

Refer to a Mental Health Professional at the Counseling Center:

  • Be caring, firm, and straightforward in your referral.
  • Consider calling from your office or escorting the student to the Counseling Center.

Consult with On-Campus Resources – Discuss your concerns about a student with any of these campus departments:

  • University Counseling Center – (413) 572-5790
  • Student Health Center – (413) 572-5415
  • Dean of Students – (413) 572-5425
  • Residential Life – (413) 572-5402
  • Public Safety – (413) 572-5262 (for issues on evenings/weekends)


Westfield State University implements the following procedures
for announcing operational changes during periods of inclement
winter weather:

  • The decision to delay or close the University due to inclement weather is made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with senior University officials.
  • Closings and delays are announced using the following methods:

         - Emergency/Weather closing hotline at (413) 572-5411
        - University website home page
        - Email notification to faculty, staff and students
        - Local radio and television stations

  • Do not come to campus when a weather-related closing is announced. Employee access to inner-campus is typically limited to emergency vehicles and snow removal personnel. If a weather closing is possible, take any needed items from campus in advance as you may not be permitted to enter until snow removal is complete.
  • Parking Policy  - In the event of a parking ban, notification may be posted in each building with instructions on where to move vehicles. However, email is the official notification method of the University and will be the primary method of delivery for these notifications.


A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in the area.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted, or indicated by weather radar, in the area.

  • Monitor local TV stations and weather websites for severe weather updates.
  • The campus Emergency Notification System (ENS) and sirens will also be activated.
  • Be prepared to take shelter on the lowest level of your building or residence hall if a tornado warning is issued.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm to alert others of a tornado warning.
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors.
  • Move to an interior hallway for shelter.
  • Wait for an all clear notification prior to returning to your work area, classroom, or living area.
  • If outdoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area, or crouch near a building if shelter is not available or if there is no time to get indoors.


In an emergency, you may be asked to do any of the following depending on the nature of the event, your location, and other factors. Be prepared to follow these instructions and await further information.


An imminent threat of violence may cause a lockdown of all or part of campus. Some exterior doors will lock automatically. Emergency responders may lock others manually. The goal is to limit exposure of students, faculty and staff to danger by preventing dangerous persons from entering campus buildings.

If a lockdown is ordered:

  • Stay inside! Do not leave the building unless you are confronted with imminent danger inside.
  • If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building.
  • Take shelter in a lockable room if possible. Once the door is locked, do not unlock it or open the door to let others in.
  • If the door does not automatically or manually lock or you do not have the key to lock the door, close and then block the door using whatever is available -- door wedges, desks, file cabinets, other furniture, etc.
  • Close windows, shades and blinds, and avoid being seen and heard from outside the room if possible.
  • Monitor the Emergency Notification System for updates and further instructions.
  • Report any emergency or unusual condition to Public Safety at (413) 572-5262.
  • Once in a secure location, do not leave until receiving the “all clear” from a police officer, Public Safety officer, the Emergency Notification System, or website communication.


Shelter In Place is designed to keep you safe while indoors if dangerous environmental conditions exist, such as extreme weather or a hazardous materials release.

If a Shelter In Place is ordered:

  • If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building, preferably in an interior room with few windows.
  • Allow access to others seeking shelter. Remember: a Shelter In Place order means there are dangerous environmental conditions but NOT any known threat of violent behavior. Allowing others into the building will not jeopardize your safety.
  • Close all exterior doors, windows and any other openings to the outside.
  • Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.
  • Monitor the Emergency Notification System and email for further instructions.
  • Report any emergency or unusual condition to Public Safety at (413) 572-5262.
  • Do not leave the building until receiving the “all clear” from a police officer, Public Safety officer, the Emergency Notification System or website communication.


Building Evacuation

  • All building occupants are required to evacuate when the fire alarm sounds or upon the order of an authorized University official such as a Public Safety officer or Emergency Response Team member.
  • If time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves/ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make a dangerous situation even worse.
  • Move to the closest exit and proceed down the EXIT stairwell in a safe and orderly manner. Do NOT use elevators.
  • Remain at least three hundred (300) feet away from the building and await further instructions. Keep roadways open and beware of approaching emergency vehicles. Notify emergency responders of anyone trapped inside, especially anyone with a physical disability who cannot evacuate.
  • Do not go back in the building for any reason until an authorized University official deems it safe to re-enter.

Large-Scale Evacuation

  • If evacuation of part or all of the campus is necessary, monitor the Emergency Notification System and University website for additional information.
  • Those in need of transportation will be directed to areas to await transport to an off-campus site.

Evacuating the disabled

Advance Planning is Important. If you may need assistance evacuating in an emergency you should pre-plan and contact the Banacos Center at (413) 572-5789 or The Banacos Center works with the Public Safety Department regarding the living arrangements and class schedules of disabled students. Physically disabled employees should contact Human Resources directly for assistance in pre-planning.

  • Evaluate your need to identify yourself as someone who requires assistance during an evacuation. Some people who may need assistance have no visible disability.
  • Master the skill of giving quick information on how best to assist you. Be clear and concise. If you have difficulty speaking, consider using a carry-with-you preprinted message.
  • Establish a personal network consisting of people who are regularly in the same area as you. Do not depend on any one person as they may not always be available. Assess your own abilities and communicate your capabilities and limitations to those in your network.
  • Determine all your evacuation options and prioritize them.

Consider the pros and cons of each:

  1.  Being carried – You have a chance to get out but you and/or your helpers may be injured in the process.
  2. Areas of Refuge – Areas of refuge are fire-resistant spaces where people unable to use stairs can call for help. An area of refuge is a good option if you feel that you may be injured if you evacuate using the stairs; however, they are typically not available in older buildings and you may be overcome by smoke before getting help from rescue personnel.
  3. Use of elevators – Elevators are useful in non-fire emergencies; however, they are shut down automatically if the fire alarm is activated. The elevator shaft can also become a chimney for smoke and the power can go out, leaving the elevator stuck between floors.


  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only when a physically disabled person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.
  • If the building has an Area of Refuge, assist the disabled person to that area. If possible, at least one person should wait with the disabled person. For buildings without an Area of Refuge, the disabled person should be moved to the nearest stairwell, or a room with the door shut which is well clear of any hazardous area.
  • Ask others leaving the building to notify emergency responders that a physically disabled person needs assistance in evacuating. Give the specific location.
  • If waiting for rescue is not an option, two physically capable occupants of the building should be invited to volunteer to assist the disabled in evacuating. Ask how the disabled person can best be assisted or moved, and whether they require any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • Keep in mind that you may need to clear debris in order to safely evacuate.
  • Do not use elevators unless told to do so by emergency responders.

Building Evacuation Points

Primary Rally Point
Secondary Rally Point (if needed)
Alumni Field Softball Field Field between softball &
baseball fields
Apartment Complex Campus Green Juniper Park parking lot
(basketball court)
Bates Hall Grove of trees by Goldstein Way Front of Wilson Hall
(Interfaith Side)
Courtney Hall Green in front of Courtney Hall Volleyball court on west side
Davis Hall New Hall Courtyard East side of Courtney Hall
Dickinson Hall Apartment Complex Courtyard Green by Dunkin Donuts (Ely)
Dining Commons Green near the Globe Grove between Scanlon
and Parenzo
Ely Campus Center Campus Green/Globe  
Grounds Tree area across the street (Ely)  
Horace Mann Center Front Lawn Back lawn near dumpsters
Interfaith Center Green in front of Courtney Hall Wilson Hall/Interfaith Center side
Juniper Park School (City) South Lot  
Juniper Park School (WSU) JP Parking lot Apartment Complex Courtyard
Lammers Hall Campus Green by Globe  
MOD Hall In front of Courtney Hall West side of Wilson Hall
New Hall Green in front of Courtney Hall Front of Wilson Hall
(Interfaith Center)
Parenzo Hall Grove of trees in front Grove between Scanlon
and Parenzo
Power Plant Tree area across the street (Ely)  
Public Safety Grove of trees by Goldstein Way  
Scanlon Hall Tree grove in front of building Grove between Scanlon
and Parenzo
Trades (Scanlon) Maintenance Building Grove of trees in front of Scanlon
Trades Building /Grounds Campus Green by Dunkin Donuts Apartment Complex Courtyard
University Hall Front of Lammers Hall by Globe  
Wilson Hall Green in front of Courtney Hall  
Woodward Center Stadium entrance Softball Field