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Emergency Procedures

In the event of a campus emergency, the BSU Police will take steps to make BSU as safe as possible. Officers have been trained in active shooter scenarios, crisis negotiation and other emergency scenarios.

Students, families, faculty and staff are encouraged to review the emergency procedures below for what to do in specific emergency situations.

Immediately report armed or hostile individuals

Call 911 to report an emergency!

For non-emergencies, call Bridgewater State University Police at 508.531.1212.

What to Do in an Emergency

If an active shooter is outside your building:

  • Go to a room that can be locked. Lock the doors and windows, and turn off the lights.
  • Get everyone to lie on the floor out of the line of fire.
  • Call 911 and inform the operator of the situation. Give your name, location and any other details that can be provided about the shooter(s), if possible.
  • Stay at your location until the police or a known university official gives the all clear.

If an active shooter is in your building:

  • Determine if the room you are in can be locked. If so, follow instructions above.
  • If your room can't be locked, move to a room that can or exit the building only if it is safe to do so.

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom:

  • If possible, call 911 and alert the police to the shooter's location; if you can't speak, leave the line open so that the dispatcher can listen and try to pinpoint your location.
  • If you can't escape, attempting to overpower the shooter(s) by force is a last resort.
  • If the shooter(s) leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place, if possible. Do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter(s).
  • If you decide to flee, make sure that you have an escape route or plan in mind. Do not carry anything. Move quickly and quietly, keep your hands visible and follow any instructions given by police officers.
  • Do not attempt to remove injured people; tell the authorities of their location as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave campus until advised to do so from the police.

​What to expect from responding police:

  • They will respond to the last area where shots were heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
  • They will normally be in teams of four and armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns, as well as possibly using tear gas or pepper spray to regain control.
  • Try to remain calm and do not be afraid; follow all instructions.
  • Put down any bags, packages or other objects and keep your hands visible at all times.
  • If you know where the shooter is, inform the officer of their location.
  • The first officers to arrive will not respond to or aid those who are injured. Rescue teams and emergency personnel will do so as soon as possible.
  • The area will still be a crime scene; police usually will not let anyone leave until the area is secure and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Stay where you are told until the police dismiss you


  • Remain calm.
  • Get as much information as possible from the caller (if by phone); pretend to have difficulty hearing.
    • Where is the bomb?
    • When is it set to go off?
    • What type of bomb is it?
  • Hold the line open. Do not hang up.
  • Use another line to call 911.
  • Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
  • If the threat is for your location, evacuate:
    • Follow the instructions provided by authorities.
    • Notify others to evacuate.
    • Take only your phone and essential items.
    • Help those needing assistance.
    • Notify police of missing or injured.

If you witness an armed individual on campus at any time or an individual who is acting in a hostile or belligerent manner, immediately call 911.

Disruptive Individual Definition:

  • An individual who makes threats of physical harm to you, others, or themselves.
  • An individual who has a weapon.
  • An individual who behaves in a bizarre manner or exhibits unstable behavior.
  • An individual who is intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.

If confronted by the individual:

  • Call 911.
  • Give your name and location with a brief explanation of the situation to the operator.
  • Take note of the individual’s age, personal appearance, vehicle, and any other information that would help identify them.

Actions to take:

  • Stay calm. 
  • Sit or stand up straight. Do not slouch.
  • Smile and make eye contact.
  • Speak clearly and distinctly in a confident, normal tone.
  • Do not touch your face. (This may be seen as a sign of aggression.)
  • Do not touch the individual, sigh or glare at them, or invade their personal space.
  • Use their name, if known, and ask them to sit down.
  • Paraphrase what they say so that they know you are listening.
  • Offer assistance and explain how you can help, using “we” to include them in the solution process.
  • If possible, advise others of the potential problem.

What to do:

  • Activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • Call 911.
  • Notify occupants and help those in the immediate area who may need assistance.
  • If the fire is small and you have the training, use a proper fire extinguisher to combat the fire.
  • Do not endanger yourself or others by trying to extinguish a large, well-developed fire.
  • Evacuate the building by the nearest exit.
  • Confine the fire by closing, but not locking, as many doors as possible behind you as you exit.
  • Do not re-enter the building until permitted to do so by emergency personnel.
  • If you are above the ground floor and fire or smoke has restricted the exit routes: remain in the room; place something at the base of the door to prevent the entrance of smoke; call 911 and let them know your location.

Building evacuation procedure:

  • Evacuation is mandatory when a fire alarm has been activated.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Take personal belongings, such as keys, wallets and purses.
  • Close doors as you exit.
  • Move people to a safe area away from the building.


If you are notified of imminent or actual flooding and it is safe to do so:

  • Wait for instructions from BSUPD.
  • Secure vital equipment, records and hazardous materials.
  • Shut off nonessential electrical equipment.
  • Move to a safe area.
  • Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by BSUPD.
  • Never drive a vehicle through a low water crossing.
  • Call Facilities for assistance with flood clean-up.
  • If you need emergency shelter, contact BSUPD for information.

If you detect natural gas, fumes or vapors:​

  • Cease all operations.
  • Do not pull fire alarms.
  • Do not touch light switches or electrical equipment.
  • Call 911.
  • Clear the area immediately if instructed to do so by the emergency dispatcher.
  • Provide your location and the location of the odor to the dispatcher.
  • Provide as many additional details as possible to the dispatcher


  • Follow the instructions provided by authorities.
  • Notify others to evacuate.
  • Take only your phone and essential items.
  • Help those needing assistance.
  • Notify police of missing or injured.



  • If the incident is indoors, close all doors in order to isolate the area if it is safe to do so.
  • From a safe area, call 911. If possible, be prepared to provide the following information:
    • Name of the material
    • Quantity of the material
    • Time of the incident
    • Location of the incident
    • If anyone has been injured or exposed to the material
    • If a fire or explosive is involved
    • Your name, phone number and location
  • Follow instructions offered by the emergency responders.
  • Evacuate the area if necessary:
    • Follow the instructions provided by authorities
    • Notify others to evacuate
    • Take only your phone and essential items
    • Help those needing assistance
    • Notify police of missing or injured


  • If the injury or illness is severe or life-threatening, call 911.
  • Avoid leaving the injured or ill person, except to get help.
  • Follow instructions from the 911 dispatcher.
  • Do not move the person unless in danger.
  • Give first aid or CPR if trained.
  • If you are exposed to another person’s bodily fluids, inform the medical personnel or police when they arrive.
  • Move to interior of structure.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Shelter in smaller rooms if able.
  • Sit or kneel next to walls.
  • Do not leave shelter unless instructed to do so.
  • Call 911 or activate an emergency call box.
  • If possible, leave the area/get out of harm’s way, or secure in place and lock the door.
  • If unable to leave, stay at a safe distance and try to get the attention of a fellow student/co-worker.
  • Seek medical attention as needed.


  • Immediately call 911.
  • DO NOT use cellphones or other electronic devices within 100 feet of the package.
  • DO NOT handle suspicious or abandoned packages.
  • Proceed as instructed by public safety personnel.
  • For nonemergency requests, call 508.531.1212.

When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Avoid making quick movements towards officers such as attempting to hold onto them for safety.
  • DO NOT stop to ask officers for directions when evacuating; proceed in the direction from which the officers are entering the premises.


The BSU CARE Team is a multidisciplinary team of experts and points of contact that meet regularly to improve coordination and communication for the academic success, health and safety of the community.

The CARE Team accepts referrals and responds to students (and their families, faculty, and staff) when concerns for a student’s health, welfare, and safety are identified.

Learn about the CARE Team »

The CARE Team is not for emergencies. Referrals are monitored Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please call 911 if there is an immediate threat to a student’s safety or well-being.