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In Case of Emergency

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General emergencies

PennWest Clarion’s Public Safety Department is the first responder to all campus emergencies requiring police, fire, or medical personnel at the Clarion campus.

To report an emergency occurring on campus, dial 2111 from any on campus phone, dial 393-2111 from off campus, or dial 9-1-1 from on campus to reach Clarion County 9-1-1 Center.

Public Safety will communicate and coordinate a response with outside police, fire, and ambulance services as is necessary to handle the emergency. Emergency services can also be accessed through the Clarion County 9-1-1 Center.

Public Safety Officers are able to communicate directly with 9-1-1 dispatchers by radio.


Questions or concerns about emergency procedures or general campus safety should be directed to the university’s public safety director at 814 393 2111.

Emergency 911
University Police 814 393 2111
Safety Inspector 814 393 2009
Clarion Borough Police 814 226 9140
Facilities Management 814 393 2361
Disability Support Services 814 393 2095
Venango Camp  814 676 6591
Facilities Management Venango 814 393 1236
Oil City Police Department 814 678 3009

Other emergencies

Here are some emergencies that warrant special instructions.

hazard mitigation plan overview

The PennWest Clarion Hazard Mitigation Plan describes actions taken to prevent or reduce the long-term risks to life and property from hazards both natural and man-made.

Pre-disaster mitigation actions are taken in advance of a hazard event and are essential to preparedness, response and recovery after the event.  With careful selection, mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective and a means of reducing the risk of loss of life and property.

Active shooter

Reacting to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter. An active shooter is NOT a hostage taker. Decide to survive.

Evacuate if you can do it safely

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind. DO NOT ACTIVATE THE FIRE ALARM IN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION.
  • Leave belongings behind
  • As you evacuate, notify anyone you encounter to leave the building immediately.
  • Keep hands visible to responding police officers.
  • Disperse individually- do not congregate in groups.
  • Contact Public Safety by calling 814-393-2111 provide as much information as you can.
  • Wait for further instruction thru Eagle Alert, the Clarion webpage, or email.
  • Hide Out if unable to evacuate safely
  • Hide in area out of the active shooter's view.
  • Find a location where you can lock yourself in a room or area and barricade the doors.
  • Turn off lights, close any blinds and stay away from doors and windows.
  • Silence cell phones, radios, pagers, etc.
  • Stay as calm as possible, remain silent and out of sight.
  • Do not leave secured area until directed by the Police.

Take Action

  • 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 814 393 2111 when it is safe to do so.


Know the location of the fire extinguishers, fire exits and the alarm systems in your area and know how to use them. Know primary and secondary evacuation routes from your work place. Training and information are available through the University Safety Office.

  • If you observe fire, smoke, or an explosion, immediately leave your work area and close the door after you, do NOT lock doors. Leave the building via the nearest exit activate the nearest fire alarm system pull station on your way out of the building. Warn others as you leave.
  • Do NOT use elevators, use the nearest stairs. Leave calmly but quickly.
  • If the time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves and ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make a dangerous situation even worse.
  • Report the fire to Public Safety by calling 814 393 2111 or dial 911 from on campus.
  • If trapped, keep the doors closed and place cloth under them to keep out smoke. Signal for help by hanging an object (like a jacket or shirt) out of the window to attract attention.
  • Remain at least 100 feet outside of the building and await further instructions. Keep roadways open and beware of approaching emergency vehicles. Notify emergency responders of anyone trapped, 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.
  • If requested, assist emergency crews as necessary.

bomb threat

Important: Do not touch any suspicious object or potential bomb.
The person receiving a threat should remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the caller by using the following checklist:
  • Date, time, and name.


  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • Who placed the bomb?
  • How many bombs are there?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your name?
  • Where are you now?
  • Sex of caller, age and length of call.
  • What was the caller's voice like? If familiar, whom did it sound like?
  • Any background sounds?
  • Note Threat Language of caller: i.e., Foul, English, irrational, message read by threat maker, or incoherent

NOTIFY Public Safety immediately by calling 814 393 2111 to give information you have obtained. Do not evacuate the building and do not sound the alarm; wait for further instructions. Under no circumstances should you touch, tamper with, or move objects out of normal or confront persons acting suspiciously. Immediately cease the use of all wireless transmission equipment (cellular phones, two-way radios).

Hazardous materials spill or release

  • For small spills and those not immediately dangerous to life or property, confine the spill if you can do so safely. Call Public Safety if you require assistance cleaning up the spill or disposing of clean up items.
  • For large hazardous materials spills, including mercury releases, stop work immediately and evacuate the laboratory or other applicable area. Immediately notify Public Safety at 814-393-2111. Provide Public Safety with the location (building and room number), description of the material released, and whether there are any injures or if medical assistance is needed.
  • Do not attempt to clean up the spill. Move away from the accident scene and help keep others away. Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled material. Try not to inhale gas, fumes, or smoke.
  • Evacuate and close doors to isolate the affected area to prevent further contamination. Do not leave the premises. Wait for Public Safety and identify yourself to the responding officer and give them an account of what happened to the best of your ability.
  • Anyone who may be contaminated by the spill is to avoid contact with others as much as possible, remove any contaminated clothing and flush the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes using the safety shower or eye wash stations. They should then be isolated and await treatment by the emergency personnel. Do not leave the site until you are cleared by Public Safety.
  • Evacuate the building if Public Safety issues the evacuation order.
  • Re-enter the building only when an "all clear" is provided by Public Safety.


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. Leave calmly but quickly.
  • Members of the university community are encouraged to take steps to ensure their own safety before an emergency by becoming familiar with the location of all building exits. Report blocked exits or other evacuation concerns to Public Safety at 2111.
  • If time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves and ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make a dangerous situation even worse.
  • Move to the closet exit and proceed down the EXIT stairwell in a safe and orderly manner, take personal belongings with you. DO NOT use elevators.
  • Establish a designated area to meet outside the building. This location should be known to everyone in your office and be far enough away from the building to ensure safety and avoid blocking access by emergency personnel.
  • Notify emergency responders of anyone trapped, 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 Eagle Alert, the Clarion Webpage, and e-mail for additional information.
  • Follow instructions from Public Safety or University officials.

Evacuating persons with disabilities

Pre-Planning is Important. If you may need assistance evacuating in an emergency you should pre-plan and contact the Disability Support Services at 814 393 2095. Physically disabled employees can contact Public Safety Office directly for assistance in per-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.
  • 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:
    • Being carried — You have a chance to get out but you and/or your helpers may be injured in the process
    • Evacuation chairs —  Evacuation chairs are safer than being carried and you don't have to wait for the fire department to reach you. These take practice to use safely, however, and the device has to be nearby.
    • Areas of Refug e— Areas of refuge are fire-resistant spaces where people unable to use stairs can notify first responders of their location by way of communication devices. An area of refuge is a good option however, they are typically not available in older buildings.
    • Use of elevators — Elevators are useful in non-fire emergencies however they are shut down automatically if the fire alarm is activated. Do not use elevators unless told to do so by Emergency Responders.

Assisting Evacuation Persons with Disabilities

  • If you are willing to do so, you are encouraged to develop a contingency plan to aid employees, students or visitors you have been informed have a physical impairment (temporary or permanent) in the event of an emergency, provided you can safely do so without putting yourself or the person with a disability in danger.
  • It is helpful to ask the person with the disability how best to evacuate them-some may only require assistance in walking-others may need to be carried.
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only when a physically disabled person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance. At least three people are recommended to assist an individual in evacuating the building.
  • 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 that do not have 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 Specific Location.
  • Do not use elevators unless told to do so by emergency responders.

medical emergencies

  • If someone becomes ill or requires medical assistance, contact Public Safety at 814-393-2111 or Call 9-1-1. Do not move a seriously injured person unless there is life threatening situation.
  • Provide the dispatcher with the following information: your name, location, telephone number, description of medical emergency, identity of the victim if known and whether or not the victim is conscious. Do not hang up until directed to do so by the dispatcher.
  • Remain with the victim and administer first aid, if you know how. Keep the victim as calm and comfortable as possible.
  • Take care to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary hazards such as electricity, hazardous materials or body fluids.
  • Remain with victim until medical first responders arrive.


reporting crime

All crimes should be reported to the Public Safety at 814 393 2111.

If you are a victim of a crime or a 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 and stay calm until an officer arrives.


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 you are notified by Eagle Alert or communication from Public Safety to shelter-in-place:

  • If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building, preferably in an interior room with few windows.
  • If faculty and students are in a classroom when the shelter-in-place is announced, they should remain in the classroom.
  • 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.
  • Report any emergency or unusual condition to Public Safety.
  • Do not leave the building until receiving the all clear from a Public Safety officer, University official, or Eagle Alert.

winter storm

PennWest Clarion 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 Vice President for Finance and Administration in consultation with Director of Public Safety.

Closing and delays are announced using the following methods:

  • Eagle Alert
  • University Website
  • Eagle Mail
  • Local radio and TV stations

Only designated essential employees should report to campus when a weather-related closing is announced.


tornado/severe weather

  • Severe weather can result in the development of a tornado at any time. Pay attention to weather reports to be aware of predicted severe weather and stay alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.
  • A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a forecast of severe weather that may produce tornadic activity.
  • A tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado has been sighted, or indicated by weather radar and is believed to be approaching your area.
  • Monitor local TV stations, Eagle Alert and weather websites for severe weather updates.
  • If a tornado warning is issued seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement if available. If no basement is available, move to the ground floor or lowest floor in the building along interior corridors or small rooms. The building area selected for shelter should be on the side away from the approach of the storm.
  • Avoid windows and glass if at all possible, as well as gymnasiums and other large open unsupported areas.
  • If you are outside and cannot reach shelter safely, seek out the nearest ditch or other low-lying area and lay flat, covering your head with your arms.
  • Wait for an all clear notification from Eagle Alert or Public Safety prior to returning to your work area, classroom, or living area.

elevator failure

If an elevator stops functioning while you are inside, the following actions should be taken:

  • Stay calm and DO NOT panic. Use the elevator emergency phone or your cell phone to call for assistance.
  • If there is no elevator emergency phone, push the emergency alarm button and sound the alarm. Continue to sound the alarm intermittently until someone responds.
  • DO NOT attempt to pry open elevator doors or leave the elevator car through a roof hatch. The elevator may re-start without warning and you may become seriously injured.
  • Your best course of action is to relax, get comfortable, and wait for professional assistance.

Basic first aid guide

First aid is medical attention typically administered immediately after an injury or illness occurs. It usually consists of one-time, short-term treatment, such as cleaning minor cuts, treating minor burns, applying bandages, and using non-prescription medicine. The overall goals of first aid are:

  • Keep the victim alive.
  • Prevent the victim's condition from worsening.
  • Give first aid until help arrives.
  • Ensure that the victim receives needed medical care.

If you need to preform first aid:

  • Remain calm, be aware of your surroundings, and closely evaluate the scene to protect yourself and others from further injury.
  • Do not move a critically injured person unless instructed by emergency medical professionals.
  • Do not try to drive someone who is critically ill or injured to a hospital unless there is no way to summon emergency help.
  • Look for these emergency warning signs that indicate a person could suffer major harm or die with immediate care.

Call 911 immediately if one or more of these signs are present:

  • Prolonged chest pain (lasting two or more minutes)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Choking or vomiting blood
  • Severe pain
  • A weak or nonexistent heartbeat when checking for a pulse on the neck alongside the Adam's apple.
  • Sudden weakness, change in vision, dizziness
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Confusion or difficulty arousing

Listen carefully to the 911 dispatcher's questions.

  • Answer them calmly and quickly. Remain on the line until the dispatcher tells you it is okay to hang up.
  • Ask someone to wait outside to meet emergency personnel if it is safe to do so.
  • Paramedics may want to know a brief summary of the circumstances that caused the emergency. Remain calm and cooperative as they gather information.


facilities emergencies

If you are in a university building and experience an electrical or mechanical system failure, such as a power failure, loss of heat, etc. or you observe a water leak, gas leak, or water damage:

  • If the facilities emergency occurs Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. contact facilities at ext. 2361.
  • If the facilities emergency occurs after 3 p.m. or on weekends notify Public Safety at 814 393 2111.


Last Updated 2/16/23