In Case of Emergency

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:

  • Notify others nearby; call 0
  • If it is safe to do so, use a fire extinguisher
  • If the fire is still burning, get out

In the case of a large fire or smoke:

  • Notify others; call 911
  • Activate fire alarm
  • Leave building quickly via the stairs

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 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:

  • Help them gently to the ground
  • Move tables, chairs, or other objects they might strike out of the way
  • Call 0
  • Ask others nearby to give the person some privacy
  • Follow emergency medical directions provided by the dispatcher

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:

  • Clean the wound of debris
  • Apply an adhesive bandage
  • Consult (or recommend consulting) a healthcare provider

Large cuts/bleeding:

  • Call 0
  • Use a clean cloth or bandage to apply direct pressure to the wound
  • Lie down with legs elevated (or assist the bleeding person into this position)
  • Always wear protective gloves when handling someone else’s blood

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:

  • Assess safety—is it safe to approach the person?
  • Is the person in danger of further injury where they are?
  • Is the person breathing? Can he/she talk?
  • Call 911
  • If possible, take the phone to where the patient is located
  • Follow the emergency medical instructions provided by the dispatcher
  • If others are available, have them assist

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:

  • Call 911
  • Tell the dispatcher what is happening
  • Provide a description of the person(s) committing the crime
  • Tell the dispatcher the direction of travel if the person starts to leave

If already completed:

  • Call 984-6125 to report the incident
  • Gather as much information as possible about the stolen items
  • Cancel credit cards and checks if they are missing

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

  • Do not leave valuables (laptop computers, purses, and cell phones, etc.) in unsecured offices or classrooms, even for a few minutes
  • If you leave valuables in your car, lock them in the trunk
  • Keep a record of credit card numbers and contact information so that you can cancel accounts quickly in the event of theft
  • Keep a record of the make, model, and serial numbers of all electronic equipment and keep the list somewhere safe
  • When going out, do not leave windows open, even just a few inches
  • Use quality locks on bicycles that resist cutting from bolt cutters or wire cutters
  • Follow departmental safety and security procedures
  • Report suspicious activity to security immediately
  • If burglarized, do not touch/handle anything in the area until after police have come and gone, so you don’t destroy possible evidence

Suspicious Person

If you see a suspicious person on campus:

  • Call 0 or the non-emergency number for the Santa Fe police, 505-428-3710
  • Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, including what the person is wearing, height, build, hair-color, eye-color, jewelry, vehicle description, license plate number, etc.
  • If possible, take a picture with a cell phone or other camera
  • Notify supervisors so they can take any action necessary to improve security in the college environment

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:

  • Pay close attention to what the caller is saying
  • Look for caller ID information on the phone
  • Gather as much information as possible (using the guide provided below)
  • Notify others nearby and call 911
  • Look for any items that appear to be out of place and report them to responding law enforcement or security
  • Follow departmental procedures to guide decisions on what to do next

If a threat is made in writing:

  • Avoid touching paper
  • Call 911 to report it to police
  • If the threat is immediate, follow departmental procedures
  • Follow instructions provided by emergency dispatcher

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

  • If a recorder is available, record the conversation
  • Note the time and caller ID information
  • Note which line the call is coming in on
  • Pay close attention to the exact words used

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

  • Where is the bomb?
  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • What does the bomb look like? What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Who placed the bomb? Why?
  • Where are you calling from?
  • What is your name? Address?

Note the following characteristics of the call:

  • Does the voice sound male or female?
  • What is the caller’s demeanor? (Calm, angry, rushed, crying, sincere, etc.)
  • Does the caller’s voice have any special characteristics? (Accent, stutter, slur, nasal sound, high pitch, low pitch, squeaky, etc.)
  • Does the caller speak quickly, rushed, slowly, deliberately, loudly, or softly?
  • Is the voice familiar?
  • Are there any background noises?

Follow any special instructions provided by the emergency dispatcher.

Chemical Spill

In the case of a small spill:

  • Follow established laboratory or workplace procedures for spill management
  • Notify the Safety Office
  • Ensure cleaned-up material is disposed of properly

In the case of a large spill:

  • Notify others and call 0
  • Leave building quickly, using the stairs
  • If you cannot get out of the building, use a safe refuge area
  • If people have been contaminated, use emergency showers if safe and available

In the case of ingestion:

  • Call 911
  • Inform the dispatcher of the chemical or product name
  • Contact or have someone contact the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222

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:

  • Keep chemicals in their original containers
  • Keeps MSDS and departmental procedures clearly posted
  • Have annual workplace training with all employees regarding chemical hazards in their workplace
  • Call 911 for any spill that is larger than the department is trained and equipped to handle
  • Properly dispose of any cleaned-up chemicals
  • Never pour chemicals down a sink. Call the Environmental Health and Safety Office for guidance on how to properly dispose of chemicals at 505-984-6125

Emergency Situations

In any emergency:

  • Call 911
  • Say “This is an emergency”
  • Give your location
  • Briefly describe what is happening
  • Stay on the line for instructions or to provide additional information to the dispatcher

Stay safe:

  • Get to a safe place as soon as possible
  • Notify others of the danger so they can also stay away
  • Monitor the situation to see if it gets worse or if the circumstances change
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks to try to save property
  • Be prepared in advance for things that can be reasonably anticipated based on occupation or location

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:

  • Know how to get emergency help—usually by dialing 911 or 0
  • Be prepared—have supplies to get yourself through at least the first 72 hours of a major incident, such as emergency flashlights, blankets, food, water, and clothing
  • Assess and avoid danger—avoid obviously dangerous activity such as crossing flooded roadways, touching live electrical wires, or approaching the sound of gunshots or explosions
  • Help yourself—if possible, seek shelter in the safest location. If leaving is not possible, stay sheltered in the safest location you can get to depending on the hazard
  • Help others—if you can do so safely, warn others nearby of the danger. This may mean turning on hazard lights on your vehicle, placing flares or reflective markers in front of the hazard, and talking with people approaching
  • Reassess—be aware that situations can change for the better or for the worse. Continually monitor the situation and be prepared to move further away or take action if the danger grows
  • Plan for reunion—Have a plan for getting in touch with family and friends during major disasters. Designate a person outside the area to serve as checkpoint.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency with injury or credible threat of injury, call 911.

Annapolis Campus Emergency Phone Numbers
St. John’s Security Phone Number
Emergency 0
Non-Emergency 505-984-6000
Director of Safety 505-984-6125
Non-Emergency Police 505-428-3710
Santa Fe Crisis Response 888-920-6333
Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center 800-721-7273
New Mexico Poison Control Center 800-222-1222
Student Health Office 505-984-6418
Student Counseling 505-984-6419
Housing and Residence Life 505-984-6925
Assistant Dean 505-984-6174
Human Resource Services 505-984-6141