Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

The Pierce College Emergency Management Plan includes information about College operating status parameters, incident priorities, shelter-in-place and evacuation guidelines, and local contingency and continuity planning requirements. College Departments are responsible for developing contingency plans and continuity of operations plans for their staff and areas of responsibility. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution. Campus Safety officers, supervisors and the Director have received training in Incident Command and Responding to Critical Incidents on Campus.

When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are usually Campus Safety, the Lakewood Police and/or West Pierce Fire & Rescue at the Ft. Steilacoom campus; and Campus Safety, the Puyallup Police, and/or Central Pierce Fire & Rescue at the Puyallup campus. They typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other Pierce College departments and other local or federal agencies could also be involved in responding to the incident.

The emergency procedures provide basic guidance in case of emergencies. The procedures outlined, together with common sense, are intended to reduce injuries, loss of life, and property damage.


This page provides basic guidance in case of emergencies. There is more specific information in the college's Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan. The procedures outlined on this page, together with common sense, are intended to reduce injuries, loss of life and property damage.


Be Prepared

  • Take time now to prepare for an emergency. It could save your life and the lives of others.
  • Familiarize yourself with the procedures in this document.
  • Develop situational awareness, which could help you in times of crisis by being familiar with your environment and being prepared to act.
  • Practice good housekeeping. Many emergencies are caused or compounded by placing obstacles in front of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, etc.
  • Know the hazards in your work area.
  • Know the location of emergency equipment such as automated external defibrillators (AED), fire pull stations, extinguishers, medical supplies, and know how to use them.
  • Know evacuation routes and procedures.
  • The overriding priority during an emergency is personal safety, followed by protection and security of college property and the environment.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Medical Emergencies

DIAL 911 and state you need MEDICAL AID. Stay on the phone and provide the following information:

  • Name of college campus
  • Address:
    • Fort Steilacoom Campus – 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood
    • Puyallup Campus – 1601 39th Ave., Puyallup
  • Which building you are in
  • Nature of the problem
  • Injured person's condition
  • Your name
  • Telephone number you are calling from

Only administer medical aid you are qualified to perform.

Attend to the injured person(s). Do not move the injured person(s) unless there is danger of further harm.

Notify Campus Safety and provide the following information:

  1. Your location
  2. Nature of the problem
  3. Confirm that you have called 911

*Have someone meet emergency response personnel and direct them to the injured person.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117


  1. Activate nearest fire alarm pull station
  2. Call 911
  3. Call campus safety

If possible, close any doors to the room where the fire is located. Do not lock the doors. Call, or ask someone else to call Campus Safety, and report the location of the fire.

At your discretion, you may use nearby fire extinguishers to control a fire that is no larger in size than a waste basket. However, if you use a maximum of two extinguishers without extinguishing the fire, practice safety first and abandon the effort.

Contact Campus Safety or inform emergency personnel if you suspect anyone is still in the area of the fire. Buildings should be evacuated to a minimum safe distance of 200 feet.

Use stairway exits only. Do not use elevators. Assist disabled persons. Keep roadways and entrances to the buildings clear for use by emergency personnel. Do not return to the building(s) until the all-clear signal sounds or the emergency coordinator tells you it is safe to re-enter.

If you are trapped inside, stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic. Shout at intervals to alert rescue crews of your location.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Bomb Threat

If you receive a threat over the phone

  1. Have someone notify Campus Safety immediately.
  2. If possible, keep the person on the phone.
  3. Be prepared to write down as much information as you can, including characteristics about the caller's voice, background noises, and the specific phrasing of the threat.

Attempt to get the following information:

  • Where is the bomb?
  • When will it explode?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • Why did the caller place it?

In case of an evacuation due to a bomb threat, the evacuation alarm will sound. All building occupants should take all personal belongings (keys, wallets, purses, book bags) with them and be prepared to remain outside the building for a minimum of one hour.

Take note of suspicious packages or any items out of the ordinary. Do not attempt to handle. Report them to Campus Safety after you leave the building.

If anyone refuses to leave, notify Campus Safety or an evacuation coordinator after you exit the building.

Bomb Threat Data

Questions to Ask

  1. When will bomb explode?
  2. Where is the bomb?
  3. What does the bomb look like?
  4. What kind of bomb is it?
  5. What will cause it to explode
  6. Did you place the bomb? Why?
  7. What is your address
  8. What is your name

*Be sure to write down the exact wording of the bomb threat after it is received. Try to note the caller's gender, race, age, the length of the call, time of day, date, and the phone number where the call was received.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Evacuation Procedures

Know the location of your primary and alternate emergency exits, and the routes you would take to reach these exits in an emergency.

Stay together. It is important that staff, faculty and students stay together during an emergency. This will help Emergency Response personnel determine if everyone has been safely evacuated.

When an evacuation alarm sounds:

  • Take all immediate belongings including your coat and keys, and evacuate the building.
  • Stay at least 200 feet from the building.
  • Stay with the group you were with prior to evacuation, if possible.

Emergency Evacuation Coordinators

Emergency evacuation coordinators are college employees who are specially trained to facilitate an evacuation. They can be identified by the reflective vests they wear during an emergency.

They will ensure an organized evacuation and guide building occupants to designated areas throughout the campus.

They will also coordinate with Campus Safety for the purposes of accountability and disseminating information.

Evacuation Instructions

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Earthquake/Volcanic Eruption

Earthquakes: Drop, Cover, Hold

  1. Drop: If you are indoors, stay there.
  2. Cover: Immediately seek shelter under a desk, a table, or near an inside wall. Stay away from windows, glass walls or outside doors.
  3. Hold: Hold onto your mode of shelter, and remain in place until the shaking stops or you are told it is safe to move.

After the initial shock, evaluate the situation. If possible, notify Campus Safety of serious hazards or injuries. Make an effort to treat the injured and protect them from aftershocks. First aid kits are conveniently located on both campuses. See the Maps and Directions page to preview campus maps.

Depending on the severity of the earthquake, you may need to evacuate the building(s). Do not use the elevators. Be sure to help people who have been injured or those who have a disability exit the building(s).

If you are outdoors, stay there. Go to one of the campus parking lots and wait. Stay clear of streetlights, power lines and trees.

Volcanic Eruption

If we are affected by volcanic ash:
Stay inside and shelter in place. The air will be easier to breathe inside than outside where the contamination from volcanic ash will be greater.

Staff and administrators:
Close all doors and post signs asking that doors be kept closed for the duration of the emergency. This will limit the spread of ash. Wait for a status report from Campus Safety and/or Facilities.

Try to calm your students and persuade them to stay in the classroom until the extent of the eruption is known.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous Materials Spill

*Call 911 immediately if the spill is a fire hazard or presents an imminent danger of personal injury. Report all leaks or spills to Campus Safety.

When calling 911 or Campus Safety, provide the following information:

  • Exact location of a spill or leak, including room number
  • What material is involved
  • How much was spilled
  • The area contaminated
  • Appearance of the material
  • Any injuries or effect on people exposed
  • Other relevant information

If it is a large spill, notify Campus Safety immediately. Students, staff and faculty should evacuate the area as quickly as possible. The area will be quarantined until the spill is cleaned up and safe conditions exist.

If it is a small spill (less than a gallon) or a slow leak, staff or faculty may, at their discretion, contain the spread of, and/or clean up the spill following the instructions outlined in the appropriate material safety data sheet (MSDS).

Suspicious odors may indicate the presence of a gas leak or hazardous materials. The area should be evacuated until the nature and extent of the problem is known.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Power Failure/Elevator Malfunction

Power Outage

Contact Campus Safety immediately if there is a power outage at any campus building location. This will help us determine the extent of the problem.

If a power outage leaves you in the dark, stay put. Emergency lighting will come on within a minute if power is not immediately restored. Emergency lighting is not designed to allow normal activities to continue.

If it is safe, there is no reason to leave your area. Otherwise, move to an area of the building that has natural or emergency lighting.

Campus Safety personnel will direct you to areas that should have emergency lighting such as foyers, main corridors and the cafeteria.

Elevator Malfunction

Elevator malfunctions are generally not life threatening unless they were caused by a disaster, such as a fire or an earthquake. However, they can be emotionally traumatic to those trapped inside. Most elevators on campus are equipped with a landline phone, which is monitored 24 hours a day, and can be used by occupants to call for help.

If you come across a passenger(s) who has been trapped in an elevator, reassure them that help is on the way.

Notify Campus Safety immediately and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Location of the malfunctioning elevator
  • A brief description of the problem or situation

If campus safety is not available, call 911.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Campus Closures

If the college or a campus is closed because of weather-related conditions or another emergency, that information will be available through a variety of channels. The Marketing and Communications Department makes information available through the following radio and television stations:

KGY 1240
KAYO 96.9
KLAY 1180 KRXY 94.5 KXXO 96.1 KMAS 1030 104.1 KBKS 106.1 (KISS)106.1
KCIS 630
KCMS 105.3
KGRG 89.9 1330 KMPS 94.1 KIRO 97.3 KIXI 880 KOMO 1000/97.7 KPLU 88.5 NPR
Ch. 13 - KCPQ (FOX) Ch. 4 - KOMO (ABC) Ch. 5 - KING (NBC)
Ch. 7 - KIRO (CBS) Northwest Cable News  

Many departments have telephone trees to disseminate information. More information can also be found at:

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Team

The Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Team (BITA) is a multi-disciplinary group who meets regularly to support the Pierce College community. The BITA team receives, assesses and responds to reports of concerning or troublesome behaviors of students, employees or others that may affect the College community. BITA’s primary focus is to provide support for individuals through referrals to internal and external resources while addressing threats to, and safety of, the College community.

Reporting Incidents to BITA

  • Individuals who are concerned about a student or employee should submit the BITA report, sharing as much information as possible. In cases where a student or employee's behavior poses an imminent threat to themselves or others, first contact 911 or the Pierce College Campus Safety Department, second submit a report to document the concern.

BITA web page

BITA report

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Crisis Intervention

Immediate Response

If you observe a person(s) who exhibits abnormal or disruptive behavior, or if you believe the person could be a threat to themselves or others, notify Campus Safety immediately.

Campus Safety will assess the situation and take the appropriate mitigating measures.

  • If a weapon is involved, or if the behavior can potentially escalate to violence, or if it is deemed to be a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately, and then contact Campus Safety.
  • If the person's behavior you observe is concerning to you, but does not pose an immediate threat to themselves or others, notify Campus Safety and/or submit an anonymous report with the Online Incident Reporting Form or contact one of the resources listed below.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117

Active Shooter

An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm[s] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."

If you find yourself facing an active shooter, there are three actions you can take that may make a difference.


If it is safe to do so, the first course of action that should be taken is to run out of the building and move far away until you are in a safe location.

  • Leave personal belongings behind.
  • Visualize possible escape routes, including physically accessible routes for those with disabilities and functional needs.
  • Take others with you, but do not to stay behind because they will not go.
  • Call 911 when safe to do so.
  • Let a responsible person know where they are.


If running is not a safe option, hide in as safe a place as possible. Hide in a location where the walls might be thicker and have fewer windows.

  • Lock and Barricade the doors with heavy furniture.
  • Close and lock windows, and close blinds or cover windows.
  • Turn off lights, silence all electronic devices and remain silent.
  • Silently communicate with first responders if possible.
  • Remain in place until given an "All Clear" by identifiable law enforcement.


If neither running nor hiding is a safe option, as a last resort, when confronted by the shooter, adults in immediate danger should consider trying to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by using aggressive force and items in your environment, such as fire extinguishers, chairs, etc.

Campus Safety:
Fort Steilacoom – 253-964-6225, Room CAS 311
Puyallup – 253-864-3360, Room A 117