Emergencies and Evacuations

What is an Emergency?

An Emergency is an unforeseen event or condition requiring prompt action. Emergencies at Berkshire Community College can be generally classified as Medical Emergencies, Fire/Fire Alarm Emergencies, Public Safety Emergencies, and Environment Emergencies. Emergency conditions either effect an individual, a small group, or the entire college. In the case they affect the entire College they typically involve the evacuation of the Campus(es).

Campus Evacuation

There are many reasons a Campus may have to be evacuated. The most common cause is due to a fire alarm activations. Other reasons may include, but not limited to, a bomb threat or environmental condition or a physical threat. Whether you are asked to evacuate the facility by Security, Administrator, or the fire alarms sounds.

  1. Stay calm
  2. Take personal belongings in your immediate vicinity
  3. Immediately exit the building
  4. Close doors as you leave
  5. Proceed directly to emergency assembly areas
  6. Follow directions you are given by emergency assembly coordinator(s)

Emergency Assistance in an Evacuation

If the fire alarm is sounded, or you are instructed by a college official to leave the area, evacuate to the nearest parking lot IMMEDIATELY. Close doors behind you. (Only assist someone with a disability if you can do so without causing personal injury to yourself or the individual with the disability.)

  • Visually Impaired: Ask the person to take your arm and describe the evacuation process while you move towards safety.
  • Mobility Impaired (crutches): If the use of stairs is necessary, ask the person to use a single crutch so that one hand is free to grasp a handrail, and guide the person from behind.

Mobility Impaired (wheelchair): If exits are blocked, move the person to an Area of Rescue Assistance* and wait for assistance from the evacuation team and/or fire department. Do not remove anyone from a wheelchair.

Areas of Rescue Assistance
  • Susan B. Anthony Center - 1st Floor Deck (off lounge)
  • Field Administration - 2nd Floor, East Stairwell (by elevator)
  • Jonathan Edwards Library - 1st Floor Deck
  • Koussevitzky Arts Center - 2nd Floor Southeast Stairwell
    (library side)
  • Koussevitzky Arts Center - 2nd Floor Southwest Stairwell
    (by media)
  • Hawthorne Hall - Level 3 Stairwell (by H-321)
  • Hawthorne Hall - Level 1 Stairwell (by H-111)
  • Melville Hall - Level 4 Stairwell (by M-430)
  • Mellville Hall - Level 2 Stairwell (by M-214)
campus map
Emergency Drills, Testing and Evacuation Procedures

The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of an emergency. At Berkshire Community College, evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train students, faculty and staff. During the drill, students, faculty and staff ‘practice’ drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm. In addition to education, the process also provides BCC with the opportunity to test the operation of fire alarm system components.

Evacuation drills are coordinated by the Director of Safety and Security. In all buildings, emergency exits signs are provided to give guidance on the direction people should travel when exiting each building for a short-term building evacuation. In academic buildings, evacuation maps are posted on the wall next to the classroom doors and in administrative buildings the evacuation maps are located along the corridors. BCC does not tell individuals in advance about the designated locations for long-term evacuations because those decisions are affected by time of day, location of the building being evacuated, the availability of the various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and other factors such as the location and nature of the threat. Staff on the scene will communicate information to individuals regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes. Fire drills are typically scheduled during the early start of the fall and spring semesters.

BCC conducts announced and unannounced drills and exercises each year and conducts follow-through activities designed for assessment and evaluation of emergency plans and capabilities.

Emergency Resources and Contacts

For an emergency on campus, dial  9-911 from a classroom phone or 911 from a cell, then call security at x6100

Police/Fire/Medical 911
Brien Center (Mental Health and Substance Abuse) 800-252-0227
National Suicide Prevention Lifelin 800-273-8255

Reporting Crimes and Emergencies

BCC students, faculty and staff as well as visitors are encouraged to immediately report any incidents of criminal activity, sexual harassment, racist behavior, or other emergencies to the Massachusetts State Police and Campus Security.

Security officers may be approached at any time or may be contacted in the following manner:

  • By calling 413-499-4660, Ext. 6100 which rings to the radio carried by the Security officers at all times. (It takes several rings for the call to reach BCC security.)
  • By using emergency phones located throughout the campus (which automatically dials security upon lifting of the handset).
  • If Security officers cannot be reached during normal business hours, incidents can be reported to the Director of Safety and Security, located in A-18, Ext. 1011; to the VP for Administration and Finance, located in F-224, Ext. 3002; or to the VP for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services located in F-123, Ext. 1602.
  • Dial 911 for medical emergencies, then follow up with Security officers at Ext. 6100. Security officers are trained to provide the necessary medical assistance and will summon Emergency Medical Services if needed.

If you are a victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the College System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, college personnel who receive this report can file details of the incident without revealing your identity.

Report a crime*

*The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the College can keep an accurate record of the number on incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger.

*Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution.