What to do in an Emergency

This is a general reference guide for what to do in certain emergency situations. If the case of an emergency not addressed here, when in doubt dial 0 from a campus line to reach security, or 911 in the case of fire or injury. (To reach campus security from a cell phone, dial 505-984-6000.)


In the case of a small fire:

In the case of a large fire or smoke:

If there are injuries, call 911

More Information:

Nationally, fire kills more than a dozen people each year on college campuses. In the high desert, where wildfires kill hundreds of people and destroy thousands of acres of land each year, the risk is especially high, therefore open fires are dangerous and prohibited. Take extreme care when extinguishing all potential sources of ignition outside, including cigarettes.

In addition to having working smoke/fire detectors, all buildings should have fire extinguishers, and the occupants of the buildings should be able and ready to use them. Fires can grow quickly, so if you decide to fight a fire with a fire extinguisher, know that that the fire extinguisher might not be an effective remedy. If the fire has grown to a size of several feet or more, abandon your efforts and escape the area.

For more information about fire prevention and safety, and to learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher, contact the St. John’s director of safety at 505-984-6125.


If someone is having a seizure:

More Information:

Seizures can be caused by a variety of conditions and disorders. Some people have diagnosed seizure conditions that are controlled or reduced in frequency by medication; others might experience their first seizure while on campus. If you have never seen someone in convulsive seizure before, it can be terrifying. It can also be embarrassing for the person having a seizure, as they are often aware of what is going on around them and what is said as they are recovering.

Contrary to what is sometimes shown on television and in movies, you should never put something in the mouth of a person who is having a seizure. Remove their glasses or backpack if necessary. Help them lie down on their side and cushion their head. After a seizure, he/she may feel sore and confused. Comfort them by telling them what has happened and where they are.


Small cuts:

Large cuts/bleeding:

More Information:

Cuts can be small and present no immediate danger, or they can be large and life-threatening. Regardless of the size of the cut, there is always potential for infection. Whenever possible, cuts should be cleaned with soap and running water, and bandaged with a sterile dressing. If you get cut, you are encouraged to visit the nurse practitioner to determine whether or not the cut has become infected.

If there is an object inside the wound—such as a stick, knife, or piece of glass—it should be left where it is and not moved. Bandage around the object as best as possible to keep it from shifting, and seek immediate medical attention.

Medical Emergencies

For all medical emergencies:

More Information:

There are many medical conditions that might affect a person. These include animal bites, insect stings, allergic reactions, falls, heat and cold emergencies, and heart attacks.
If someone is in need of medical assistance, always start by calling 911 in order to get emergency medical services responding as quickly as possible. EMS professionals will bring the appropriate equipment and medications that can be used to help the person and get them to the hospital as soon as possible.
Before something unexpected happens, consider taking First Aid and CPR courses. In the event of an emergency, you will be confident in your abilities and able to assist others.


In progress:

If already completed:

Most theft on college campuses can be prevented if desirable items are properly secured. Take these steps to reduce the likelihood of theft:

Suspicious Person

If you see a suspicious person on campus:

More Information:

Nearly everyone has seen someone they thought did not belong in an area or was doing something that didn’t seem quite right. In some cases, these suspicious people were reported and found to be attempting a theft or conducting surveillance on a location. In other cases, it was determined the person was not actually doing anything wrong. In both types of cases, reporting the suspicious behavior was the right thing to do.

When people are planning to commit a crime, they frequently “test” the environment to see what they can get away with and the ease with which they will be able to commit their crime. They often begin by doing things that are not proper, but not necessarily illegal, including trying doorknobs to see if any are unlocked, looking closely at door latches to see if they might be able to jam them in the open position, taking pictures of the area—especially of site lines, camera locations, alarm panels, doors, windows, and equipment—and sitting and watching the habits and patterns of the people who live or work there.

If something doesn’t feel right, it is best to be safe and report it to security so it can be checked out. Don’t feel badly if the person ends up being innocent. The next suspicious person could be up to no good.

Bomb Threat

If a threat is made by phone:

If a threat is made in writing:

If you receive a bomb threat, gather as much information as possible from the caller by doing the following:

Keep the caller on the line as long as possible and ask him/her questions if possible, including:

Note the following characteristics of the call:

Follow any special instructions provided by the emergency dispatcher.

Chemical Spill

In the case of a small spill:

In the case of a large spill:

In the case of ingestion:

More Information:

Chemicals are part of our daily lives and are familiar to most people—a familiarity that can lead to chemicals sometimes being handled in an incautious manner. Some chemical accidents are a result of slips and falls. Either situation can lead to a chemical being spilled into the environment.

Because chemicals vary greatly in type and amount of danger they present, the nature of the specific chemical involved in a spill needs to be taken into consideration. Chemicals that present an inhalation hazard may need to be handled differently from those that present a contact danger. Because of this, all employees who work with or may be exposed to chemicals must be properly trained about these chemicals and where they can find the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), along with any specific departmental or laboratory procedures, for spills that might occur.

Take these steps to reduce the danger of chemical spills:

Emergency Situations

In any emergency:

Stay safe:

More Information:

There are any number of emergency situations that could potentially occur, including natural disasters (floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, extreme heat, lightning, disease outbreaks, etc.), and man-made incidents (traffic crashes, hazardous chemical release, downed electrical lines, collapsed bridges, criminal activity, terrorism, arson, etc.). It would be impossible to outline procedures for every possible situation here, but below are some useful tips that are common to many incidents:


Emergency Phone Numbers

All phone numbers are area code 505 unless otherwise indicated.

Emergency with injury or credible threat of injury


St. John’s Security






Director of Safety


Non-Emergency Police 


Santa Fe Crisis Response


Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center  


New Mexico Poison Control Center


Student Health Office


Student Counseling


Housing and Residence Life


Assistant Dean


Human Resource Services