Emergency Response Guide


Colorado Mesa University's Emergency Operations Plan is designed to effectively coordinate university and community resources to protect life and property immediately following a major natural or accidental disaster on CMU's campuses. The plan is placed into operation whenever an emergency affecting the campus cannot be controlled through normal channels.

Primary emergencies envisioned by the plan are active shooter/critical incident, fire, chemical spill, radiological emergency, bomb threat or the need for campus wide evacuation.

University personnel and equipment will be utilized to provide priority protection of:

  1. Life
  2. Environment
  3. Property
  4. Restoration of the academic program

This outline is not intended to cover all contingencies that may result in a campus emergency. However, it is designed to provide employees with general guidelines to follow in certain emergency situations.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.

  • Victims are selected at random
  • Event is unpredictable and evolves quickly
  • Knowing what to do can save lives

When an active shooter is in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation.

You have three options:

  1. Run
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
    • Help others escape, if possible
    • Do not attempt to move the wounded
    • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
    • Keep your hands visible
    • Call 911 when you are safe
  2. Hide
    • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view
    • Lock door or block entry to your hiding place
    • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet
  3. Fight
    • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
    • Act with as much physical aggression as possible
    • Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter
    • Commit to your actions...your life depends on it

The first officers on scene will not stop to help the injured. Expect rescue teams to follow initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove the injured.

Once you have reached a safe location, you likely will be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Drop items in your hands (e.g., bags, jackets)
  • Raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling
  • Do not ask questions when evacuating

Information to provide to 911 operators:

  • Location of active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons shooter has
  • Number of potential victims at location

Content provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Watch this video by Houston Ready, a regional preparedness initiative, that enacts the principles laid out above Run. Hide. Fight

You will be alerted to undergo Lockdown or Shelter-in-Place through the Colorado Mesa University Emergency Text Notification System.

  1. Students should report to the nearest classroom.
  2. Close all windows, lock your doors, and do not leave for any reason.
  3. (For Shelter-in-Place only) Seal the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
  4. Stay away from all doors and windows (For Lockdown Only) Move students to interior walls and drop to the ground.
  5. (For Lockdown Only) Shut off lights, BE QUIET!
  6. (For Shelter-in-Place only) Permit classroom use of telephones in emergencies only.
  7. Wait for further instructions.

IF YOU RECEIVE A BOMB THREAT over the phone, write down the exact wording of the threat. If the caller allows, ask the following questions:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb right now?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does the bomb look like?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Why did you place the bomb?
  • Where are you calling from?
  • What is your name?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your telephone number?

NOTE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION if it can be determined:

  • Sex of caller
  • Age of caller
  • Caller's voice
  • Background noise
  • Time call received
  • Time call terminated
  • Date

REPORT: As soon as the caller hangs up:

  • CALL 911

If a threat is deemed to be campus wide, the following procedures will be implemented:

NOTIFICATION: You will be notified by the Emergency Text Notification System.

YOU WILL BE TOLD THIS IS A CAMPUSWIDE EMERGENCY and you need to leave the campus immediately.

TRAFFIC CONTROL: Colorado Mesa University Parking Services staff and Grand Junction Police Officers will be controlling traffic exiting the campus parking lots and around the campus perimeter.

IF YOU ARE LEAVING CAMPUS BY FOOT, leave by the most direct route. If you are relying on someone to pick you up, you will be told where to gather. Communication with your means of transportation can be from the gathering place.

NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE CAMPUS: Pedestrian and vehicular traffic attempting to enter campus will be turned away.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES who need assistance should be assisted out of the building when possible, or to a designated stairwell or other location where emergency personnel should respond to assist.

ONCE THE CAMPUS IS EVACUATED it will be secured and no one will be allowed to enter without the proper authorization. The campus will remain closed until the decision to reopen is made by the President. Notification will be made through local media when the campus is reopened.

REUNIFICATION SITES might be Stocker Stadium, Walker Field, Grand Junction High School, Tope Elementary or Orchard Avenue Elementary.

EVACUATE THE AFFECTED AREA: As soon as the spill occurs, evacuate and isolate the affected area.

NOTIFICATION: For a major spill, pull the nearest fire alarm and call 911 to report the accident. If your building is not equipped with a fire alarm system, personally contact the people in the area.


REMAIN IN THE AREA to inform emergency personnel of the nature and location of the spill.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES who need assistance should be assisted out of the building when possible, or to a designated stairwell or other location where emergency personnel should respond to assist.

ONCE A BUILDING IS EVACUATED it will be secured and no one will be allowed to enter without the proper authorization. The building will remain closed until the decision to reopen is made by the proper authority.

CLEAN UP: Someone from Facilities Services in conjunction with the Grand Junction Fire Department will respond to assess the emergency and provide direction in cleaning up the spill.

NOTIFICATION: As soon as any fire, large or small, is detected, notify the occupants of the building by sounding the fire alarm or by personal contact if your building is not equipped with a fire alarm system. Call or have someone else call 911 from any campus or residence hall phone.

IF THE FIRE IS SMALL, attempt to put it out with a fire extinguisher.

Training in the use of fire extinguishers is available through Facilities Services at Colorado Mesa University, and should be obtained before the need arises. Call 970.248.4357 or 970.248.1105 to arrange for training.

IF THE FIRE CANNOT BE CONTROLLED, close the door to the room where the fire is located and evacuate the building. Stay in the area to inform emergency personnel of the nature and location of the fire.

EVACUATE THE BUILDING: Whenever you hear a fire alarm, evacuate the building. Do not use the elevator; use stairwells. Do not attempt to re-enter the building for any reason until local fire officials give permission.

When should a CMU faculty/staff member make an emergency 911 call to address an emergent medical situation? According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (www.acep.org), the following tips or guidelines may be used to assist faculty/staff in making the judgment that an emergency call to 911 is necessary:

Learn how to recognize emergency warning signs. Some warning signs of a medical emergency include a loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure, fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision, confusion or change in mental status, sudden severe pain, bleeding that won't stop, severe or persistent vomiting, coughing up or vomiting blood, and/or suicidal or homicidal feelings.

Know where to get help. If you believe that a student, fellow faculty/staff member, or visitor to campus may be suffering from a medical emergency, call 911. This is not optional. The university is not relying upon you to diagnose or determine the severity of a medical emergency; rather, the university is relying upon you to use prudent judgment in calling for help if you perceive that a medical emergency is taking place. If you are unsure, call 911. Please note that this obligation to call 911 is not relieved or abrogated in any way by a student asking/telling you not to call 911 on his/her behalf. If a patient is conscious and lucid when first responders/EMS professionals arrive, the patient has a right to refuse transportation to a hospital, but that determination to transport is to be made by first responders/EMS professionals, not CMU faculty/staff.

When dialing 911 from a mobile phone please remember that your location and caller identification may not always be displayed for the dispatcher. Please stay on the line with the dispatcher until you are instructed to hang up. Always be aware of your location and room number and be prepared to tell the dispatcher where you are. Learn what to do until help arrives. Knowing CPR and choking rescue procedures is important. CPR/First Aid courses for faculty and staff to become certified are offered periodically through our office.

It's also important to know what NOT to do in an emergency. Never move anyone who is unconscious or has struck his/her head or was injured in a car crash, unless he/she is in danger. When treating burns, don't use ice or butter or petroleum jelly. If burns blister, are large or deep, get immediate emergency help.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Services.

A radiological emergency means any incident involving radioactive materials where there exists the possibility of an internal or external hazard to personnel. An incident may vary from a small, very low-level activity spill that would be easy for one person to clean up, to a fire or explosion that caused widespread contaminations or destruction. The effluents from a radiological emergency may be liquids, gases, solids, dust vapors or particles.

  • If a fire is involved, call 911.
  • Notify Facilities Services at 970.248.4357.
  • Notify the Laboratory Supervisor as soon as practicable.
  • Minimize the radiation exposure to personnel by assuring that they go from the area involved to an area isolated from the emergency. However, KEEP THEM THERE UNTIL THEY CAN BE CHECKED FOR CONTAMINATION AND RELEASED.
  • Post warnings and allow no one to enter unaware.
  • Use absorbent material if possible to limit spread.
  • If contamination is airborne, close windows, doors and vents, and turn off the ventilation and air conditioning.
  • Do not attempt decontamination unless directed to do so by Facilities Services and the Hazardous Materials Division of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

Be advised that access to the work area may be prohibited as long as the threat of the hazard exists.