Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Emergency and Safety Plans



Although there are set guidelines and procedures for various types of emergencies, everyone affected by this manual must realize that no one set of responses can cover every eventuality.  Accordingly, in an emergency situation, two general guidelines should be remembered:  Do Not Panic and Call 9-911 if you need emergency help and no other resource is available.


At Isothermal Community College, a major emergency is defined as an event which will adversely affect or disrupt the overall operation of the college, possibly putting the safety of those on campus at risk, and may require outside emergency services.


In the event of a major emergency, the person reporting the emergency is advised that the standard operating procedure for securing trained first aid personnel is to contact the local Emergency Medical Services at 9-911.(See page 12 - 22 for specific emergency procedures).

If the person reporting the emergency feels the emergency would be better handled by the Emergency Response Team (see following), the person should:

  • Call the switchboard operator (by dialing “0”); switchboard will then contact the Emergency Response Team.
  • If unable to get in touch with the switchboard operator, attempt to contact the Emergency Response Team directly (see following).
  • If none of the Emergency Response Team is available, notify the nearest dean or director, who will alert security and attempt to contact members of the Emergency Response Team.

The first Emergency Response Team member contacted will designate a place at which the team will meet as soon as safely possible. The switchboard operator or person making the contacts will notify each team member of the designated location.


The college’s response to a major emergency will be managed by the Emergency Response Team and coordinated by the Vice President of Administrative Services. The Emergency Response Team members and their responsibilities follow.


  • President (ext. 300): Responsible for overall direction of college emergency responses.  Delegates coordination to the Vice President of Administrative Services.
  • Vice President of Administrative Services (ext. 202): Coordinates communication activities and decides what actions are to be taken until or before the emergency response team can meet.
  • Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs (ext. 203): Communicates activities and actions as informed by the Vice President of Administrative Services to appropriate faculty and staff.
  • Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance (ext. 398): Communicates with Vice President of Administrative Services, responds as necessary to the affected areas to disable utilities, keeps travel routes open for emergency service vehicles, and renders assistance as needed without endangering the life of himself or others.
  • Dean of Student Affairs (ext. 238): Communicates activities and actions as informed by the Vice President of Administrative Services to appropriate faculty and staff.
  • Public Information Officer (ext. 206): Communicates activities and actions as informed by the Vice President of Administrative Services to appropriate faculty, staff, and media outlets.

Other college personnel have responsibilities as follows: 

Administrators, Deans, Directors and Department Heads: Periodically, review safety and emergency procedures such as evacuation plans, reporting procedures, etc., make staff aware of fire extinguisher location and usage. During an emergency, inform all employees under his/her direction of emergency conditions and direct appropriate responses as outlined in the Safety Manual, while maintaining telephone communications.

Faculty and Supervisors: Educate students and/or employees about college emergency procedures with special emphasis on evacuation procedures and on the location of designated tornado shelters. During an emergency, follow appropriate responses as outlined in the Safety Manual.

Maintenance and Security (security pager 248-5547): Respond to the affected area to disable utilities, keep travel routes open for emergency service vehicles, and render assistance as needed without endangering the life of yourself or others.


ICC – Rutherford County
  1. Emergency Medical Services…………………….....  9-911   (First Response)
  2. College Switchboard……………………………….....Dial “0”
  3. Local Fire Department…………………………….......9-911
  4. Emergency Management Coordinator……………....287-6075  (Barry Davis)        
  5. Sheriff’s Office……………………………………..........287-6247  (Day) 287-6160  (Nights, Sunday)
  6. Spindale Police…………………………………….......286-3464
  7. Vice President of Administrative Services………..…Extension 202
  8. President…………………………………………...........Extension 300
  9. VP of Academic and Student Affairs……………….....Extension 203                        
  10. Dean of Student Affairs…………………………......….Extension 238
  11. Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance……. Extension 398
  12. Security……………………………………………...........248-5547   (Pager)
ICC - Polk County
  1. Emergency Medical Services……………………..9-911   (First Response)
  2. Local Fire Department……………………………....9-911
  3. Emergency Management Coordinator………........894-3067   (Sandra Hadford)            
  4. Polk County Sheriff’s Office………………………....894-3001
  5. Columbus Police Department……………………...894-5464
  6. Director of Polk County Campus…………………...894-3092


A.  Reporting Emergencies
  1. In an emergency, call 9-911 and report the nature of the emergency. After calling 9-911, notify the switchboard and advise the switchboard operator of the nature of the emergency. In the event the switchboard cannot be contacted or is closed, contact the nearest dean, director, or faculty member and advise them of the emergency.
  2. When you call either 9-911 or the switchboard operator, stay calm and carefully explain the problem and give the location of the problem.  State your name, the emergency, and the location.  DO NOT HANG UP UNTIL TOLD TO DO SO!
B. Building Evacuation
  1. Evacuation plans are posted on each floor of every building in prominent areas to include exit routes and assembly points. As part of each activity or each start of a new class, staff and faculty will advise students and visitors which exits to use for evacuation in a particular building and of the established assembly point if applicable.
  2. All occupants of the building should evacuate the building in accordance with the evacuation plan. WALK, DO NOT PANIC!
  4. Do not use the elevator in the building in cases of fire and/or earthquake.
  5. DO NOT RETURN to an evacuated building unless told to do so by a college official.
  6. Proceed to a clear area at least 200 ft. (per Fire Marshal) from the evacuated building.  Keep fire lanes, hydrant areas and walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  7. Deans, directors, faculty, and staff will proceed with students to an established assembly point and students/staff will stay at the established assembly point until an accurate headcount is taken.  Assembly points are posted on evacuation plans and identified in student training beginning each semester.
C. Fire
  1.  The person discovering the fire should sound the fire alarm, call 9-911, and notify the receptionist in the building. If the building does not contain an alarm, a runner should be sent to each room to sound  the alarm verbally.
  2. If unable to directly contact 9-911, the person discovering the fire will notify the receptionist or dean’s office in the building affected and request that they contact 9-911. If this proves unsuccessful, the person discovering the fire will notify the switchboard (Dial “0”) and ask the operator to call 9-911.
  3. The switchboard operator or staff on the scene should notify the Vice President of Administrative Services (ext. 202, home 657-4082) of the fire, and he/she will in turn notify the President and other staff.
  4. All occupants of the building should evacuate the building in accordance with the evacuation plan.  WALK, DO NOT PANIC!
  6. Do not use the elevator in the building in cases of fire and/or earthquake.
    Otherwise leave books and other personal belongings that would delay
    the evacuation.
  8. Faculty/staff will CLOSE windows and doors and TURN OFF lights
    after the last person leaves the room.
  9. The receptionist will notify the Maintenance Department and personnel  will be dispatched to turn off electricity and fuel to the affected building.  Emergency lights are in place.
  10. Where necessary and if time permits, staff should close vaults, files,
    and record containers.
  11. Staff will try to assemble occupants at least 200 ft. from the structure
    and will try to keep fire lanes clear.
  12. At the assembly area, classroom instructors will check rolls and notify the building manager or Emergency Management Coordinator if someone is missing.
  13. If someone is missing, a search team will be formed and a search made OUTSIDE THE BUILDING ONLY.  Also, staff should inform the  on-scene fire commander immediately.
  14. Maintenance staff or other staff trained in the use of fire extinguishers may fight small fires.  DO NOT ENDANGER LIVES!
D. Bomb Threat
  1. A bomb threat may be delivered by various means, but usually it is delivered via telephone.
  2. The person who receives the threat should obtain as much information as possible from the caller.  Use the Bomb Threat Checklist on page 16.  Copies should be at every secretarial station, at the switchboard, and may be obtained from the Human Resource Assistant’s office.
  3. The recipient of a bomb threat call should immediately notify one of the following people in the order listed.  DO NOT CONTACT ANYONE ELSE and DO NOT PANIC

    To report a bomb threat, contact the following in this order: 
     (1) Vice President of Administrative Services  (Ext. 202)   
     (2) Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance  (Ext. 398 or 233)

    If neither can be contacted, notify an administrator, or notify the switchboard operator (Dial “0”) for assistance.
  4. Whoever is contacted in step 3 will contact the college President at Extension 300, then the Emergency Management Coordinator at 287-6075, and will attempt to reach the other person listed in #3 above.

    (See appendix for reference to a list of After Hours Phone Numbers).
  5. The Vice President of Administrative Services or the administrator contacted will decide whether or not to evacuate the building(s) or call 9-911

    If the decision is made to evacuate, the person making the decision will notify all occupants of the affected building(s) personally.  If there is not time, then runners will be assigned.
  6. Windows will be OPEN if possible and doors will be PROPPED OPEN as the classrooms and offices are evacuated.
    The administrator(s) on site will conduct a routine search to see that the building(s) are cleared.  Vaults should be closed and records secured if possible.
  7. Occupants will evacuate to an assembly area at least 200 ft. from the building(s).
  9. If the bomb threat is directed at Building One (1), the switchboard operator will program the system so that outside calls are received in Building Ten (10).
  10. After the building(s) are evacuated, the Director of Administrative Services will determine whether a search team will make a limited search. 

Search team members SHOULD NOT HANDLE ANY SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS. Mark the location and report the object to the Emergency  Management Coordinator on the scene. (Investigators may refer to   completed Bomb Threat Checklist, see next page.)


Bomb Threat Checklist


NAME OF OPERATOR:                                    ______            TIME: ___      DATE:_          _

                  Questions To Ask                                               Caller’s Voice
1.   When is bomb going to explode?______________   Calm____    Nasal____
2.   Where is it right now?______________________     Angry____   Stutter____
3.   What does it look like?_____________________     Excited____ Lisp____
4.   What kind of bomb is it?____________________    Slow____     Raspy____
5.   What will cause it to explode?________________    Rapid____    Deep____
6.   Did you place the bomb?____________________    Soft____       Ragged____
7.   Why?___________________________________     Loud____     Whispered____
8.   What is your address?______________________     Laughter____
9.   What is your name?________________________    Crying____   Cracking____ 
Normal____  Disguised____
Exact Wording Of The Threat:                                     Distinct____  Accent____
___________________________________          Slurred            ____  Familiar____
___________________________________           Clearing throat____
___________________________________        If voice is familiar, who did it sound 
___________________________________        like? ___________________________
___________________________________        _______________________________
___________________________________                    Threat Language
___________________________________        Educated____   Incoherent____
___________________________________        Irrational____   Taped____
___________________________________        Foul____           Message read_____
___________________________________         Threat maker_____
___________________________________                    Background Sounds 
___________________________________    Street noises___ Factory machinery____
___________________________________    Crockery____     Animal            noises____        
___________________________________    Voices____         House noises____
___________________________________    PA System____  Motor noises____                  
___________________________________    Music____          Office machinery____
___________________________________    Children____      Local____
___________________________________    Local____           Long distance____
Cell phone____   Telephone booth____
Sex of caller:________________                    Other____________________________
Race or ethnicity:____________            Remarks:_____________________________  
Length of call:_______________           _____________________________________
Time:_______Date:___/___/___             _____________________________________
Number at which call was received:      _____________________________________
____________________________          _____________________________________

E.  Serious Injury or Illness
  1. If a serious injury or illness occurs on campus, a staff or faculty member
    will notify 9-911 to report the nature of the situation. Give them your
    name and do the following:
    1. Describe as best you can the nature of the problem.
    2. Give the campus location of the victim by building name.
    3. Do not hang up until instructed to do so.
    4. Send someone to watch for the emergency unit and to direct the unit to the scene.
    5. Ask someone to notify the switchboard operator or the nearest dean, director, faculty member or staff.
  2. ONLY PERSONNEL TRAINED AND CERTIFIED SHOULD PROVIDE OR ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE FIRST AID TREATMENT.  (The first response in an emergency situation at Isothermal Community College is to call 9-911. North Carolina is a Good Samaritan state; however, employees should be aware that if an employee chooses to render assistance, the employee is doing so by his/her own choice and is not required to render assistance as part of his/her job responsibility.)
  3. If there are several injured or seriously ill persons involved, the switchboard operator should notify the emergency room to which they are being sent.
  4. The appropriate building manager or administrator or his/her designee will attempt to notify the next-of-kin of each injured/ill person.  He/she will continue trying to reach the next-of-kin until he/she either makes contact or is assured by police or hospital personnel that someone has been notified.
F.  Civil Disturbance
  1. Most importantly, the first step is to determine if, in fact, an unlawful civil disturbance exists. A civil disturbance does not exist if there is peaceful picketing or demonstrating as a means of expressing dissent or a point of view. Persons who are involved in peaceful activities of this nature are entitled to the protection provided by the laws of North Carolina.

    A civil disturbance does exist if picketing or demonstrating jeopardizes public order or harasses organized meetings in such a manner as to deprive speakers of the right of expression. Such activity must not interfere with the regular classroom, laboratory, or office activity of Isothermal Community College.
  2. When there are riots, unlawful assemblies and other demonstrations on campus which impair or prevent the accomplishment of any lawful mission, process, or function of the institution,  the administrative officers of Isothermal Community College will follow the rules and procedures as follows:
    1. Immediately notify the following college officials:
      1. President (ext. 300)
      2. Vice President of Administrative Services (ext. 202)
      3. Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs (ext. 203)
      4. Dean of Student Affairs (ext. 238)
    2. The administrative officer(s) above will notify local law enforcement and request assistance if any person or persons are interfering with the customary, normal use of the buildings or the grounds in and around the buildings and refuse to vacate, or if there are riots or unlawful demonstrations.
  3. Law enforcement officers should, immediately upon arrival on campus, confer with administrative officials.
  4. The administrative official, after consulting with law enforcement officers and other college officials, and upon finding that a building has been seized or that there is an unlawful civil disturbance or other unlawful assemblies or disturbances taking place, will advise all persons participating in such unlawful activity to vacate college buildings or property and to disperse from unlawful assembly.
  5. If the person(s) complies with the above, law enforcement officers will then intervene only if laws have been broken and/or property damaged. 

    If the direction to disperse, vacate, or cease the disturbance is not followed, then the law enforcement officers will proceed with  arrests.

    Law enforcement officers will be instructed to arrest all persons on campus who commit a felony or misdemeanor in the presence of the officer, or when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that any person has committed a felony or misdemeanor.

    The college may take other disciplinary measures whether or not a misdemeanor or felony has been committed.
  6. The primary goal is to protect lives and property and to maintain order.  If this can be accomplished without outside assistance and no laws are  broken, the situation should be dealt with accordingly. If not, these disorders should be treated as any other law enforcement problem.
G.  Tornado

In the event that the college is notified that either a tornado watch has been declared or a tornado warning is in effect, all staff should be aware of the following:

  1. Tornado Watch
    1. Definition: 
      There is a potential for tornadoes because conditions in the area are favorable for tornadoes.
    2. College Response:
      1. The switchboard operator will notify each department that a tornado watch is in effect. The department secretary or staff receiving that information will notify his/her supervisor immediately. 

        At this time, each department should, if a radio is available, listen to a local station for any announcements.

        No other action is required at this time.
      2. The Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance will  take the following actions if the tornado watch occurs during
        the day:
        1. Listen to the weather station for current information.
        2. Post maintenance personnel in various locations to observe weather conditions and report any sightings to the switchboard operator.
        3. No further action until the watch is cancelled or until the condition is upgraded to a warning status.
  2.   Tornado Warning
    1. Definition:  
      A tornado has shown up on radar or has actually touched down.
    2. College Response:
      1.   When the college receives information that a tornado has  shown up on radar in this area or has touched down in this area or has been sighted by a college observer, the switchboard operator will immediately call departments, and maintenance personnel will be sent to assigned buildings to inform the staff.
      2. If a tornado is in the college area as we have been informed  or as observed, staff should declare a tornado emergency and get all students and others to predetermined areas of the buildings.  

        Designated tornado areas should be:
      3. Maintenance and security should go to preassigned parking   lots and get students into the nearest buildings. Cars are extremely dangerous in tornadoes and high winds and motorists should seek cover in a permanent structure or, if necessary, in ditches or other low areas.

Note:   It is very important that these precautions be taken. It is very important to get to designated cover. The most deadly threat of a tornado is flying debris. It is a fact that most tornado-related deaths are caused by head injuries from flying debris.

H.  Snow and Ice

Although inclement weather such as snow and freezing rain do not normally require an emergency response, all staff and students should listen carefully to the local stations for information regarding school delays or cancellations. This information will be available to the local stations as well as area television stations at approximately 7:00 a.m.

All staff and students are advised to set their radios to 88.7 FM for the latest on the college status or visit the college website at

All maintenance personnel should report as soon as safely possible.

I.    Earthquake

During an earthquake everyone must remain calm and follow the steps outlined below as quickly as possible:

  1. IF INDOORS, seek refuge in a doorway or under a desk or table.  Stay away from glass windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.
  2. IF OUTDOORS, move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, and other structures.
  3. If in an automobile, stop in the safest place possible, preferably away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle for the shelter it offers.
  4. Maintenance personnel will immediately inspect the campus for injuries and damage, and staff will call 9-911 if emergencies exist. If the telephone system is down, maintenance will contact the County Communications Center with handheld radios or cell phones.
  5. Be prepared for after-shocks.  Protect yourself at all times.
  6. If a building needs to be evacuated, follow the Building Evacuation Procedures (see page 13) . At that time walk to the nearest exit and ask others to do the same.
J.         Chemical Spill   (See also Hazardous Material Spill, page 40.)
  1. Any spillage of a hazardous chemical should be reported to the Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance. (ext. 398 or 233)
  2. Be sure to report the specific nature of the involved material and the exact location. The Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance or his designee will contact the appropriate authorities and/or medical personnel.
  3. The staff person on site will see that the affected area is evacuated and that it is sealed off as much as possible.
  4. Anyone who has been or may have been contaminated by the spill should avoid contact with others as much as possible, remain in the vicinity and give his/her name to the staff person on site.
  5. First aid and/or cleanup will be done only by trained staff or outside specialized authorities.
K.  Violent Crime or Criminal Activity

All Management Team members should read and share Policy III:01:19 with their staff and faculty and should review the procedures set forth in this policy each fall semester with their classes.

  1. If you are a victim of or a witness to a violent crime or criminal activity, call 9-911 and call the switchboard operator at “0”. If you cannot reach the operator, call Plant Operations (ext. 398 or 233) or the Vice President  of Administrative Services (ext. 202).
  2. If you observe a suspicious person or a suspicious situation, call the switchboard operator at “0” at once.  If unable to reach the switchboard, call Plant Operations (ext. 398 or 233) or the Vice President of Administrative Services (ext. 202).
  3. When you are reporting a criminal activity or violent crime, stay as calm as possible and include the following information in your report to Emergency Medical Services at 9-911, the switchboard operator, or Plant Operations.
    1. . nature of the incident
    2. location on campus by building name
    3. description of person(s) involved

      Please stay on the phone as long as you can or until told to hang up by the 911 or the responding operator.

K.   Campus Lock Down


The decision to have an emergency campus lockdown will only be made if there is a serious risk of danger to the staff, faculty, and students of  Isothermal Community College from an armed or dangerous person(s) on campus. The lockdown will be at the discretion and direction of the Office of the President. In the event of an emergency campus lockdown, it is recommended that you stay in your work area with all doors locked until you are notified it is safe to leave.

Each department will be notified via the Emergency Campus Lockdown Phone Chain found on the next page. The initiation of the phone chain is the responsibility of the Isothermal Community College Campus Safety Officer. The officer will contact the first department on the chain and give brief instructions.  When you receive a call it will be your responsibility to call the next department on the chain. The last person on the chain will then contact the Isothermal Community College Campus Safety Officer, notifying them that the end of the chain has been reached.  We recommend that you familiarize yourself, in advance, of your position on the chain. We also recommend that you make a copy of the emergency phone chain and post it next to your departments’ phones.

In order to expedite this process, if a department you are calling does not answer after four rings, move to the next department on the chain.  Instruct them to secure their area for “lockdown”; keep the call as short as possible. If you have skipped a department due to no answer, continue to try contacting them once you have contacted the next department on the list.

When you receive a lockdown notification call, let others in your area know. Every effort should be made to lock access doors and close window coverings in your area without compromising personal safety. It should be the responsibility of the dean of the building to make sure all windows and doors are locked.

From all campus phones you can now dial 9-911


Maintenance/Facilities/Security                 398 or 233
Office of the President                             300 or 201
Switchboard Operator                                           0  
Student Affairs                                        238 or 267
Library                                                   217 or 381
Career Center                                        244 or 384
Financial Aid Office                                  262 or 468
Applied Sciences                                     250 or 391
Learning Center                                      368 or 218
Business Sciences                                   227 or 232
Continuing Education                               346 or 396
Business Office                                       207 or 209
WNCW/Print Shop                                   357 or 359
Arts & Sciences                                      212 or 213
Information Technology                          298 or 341
Public Information                                  206 or 312
Book Store                                            369 or 327
Shops/Welding/Machine                          299 or 224
Foundation                                            380 or 407

As the campus expands, the phone chain will be updated.