Emergency Response

In an emergency, campus safety and security will communicate through our bullhorn system that covers all common areas within the University. We will also send your University email address an email and text your cellphone through our mass text message notification system. Please don’t ignore warning.

Under most circumstances we will ask everyone to take shelter in the buildings you are in and follow directions of campus safety and security.

In situations where the buildings are not safe, such as fires or building failures, everyone in the building will be asked to follow the directions issued by safety and security over the bullhorn system and evacuate as instructed.

Should a violent intruder enter one of our campus buildings, the Joliet Police Department (JPD) will respond to intervene in the incident. Our security officers will immediately lock-down the exterior doors to all buildings. You should follow JPD directions and do not take it upon yourself to open doors for persons outside. Keep in mind there is no “set look” for an active shooter; it could be anyone. If you hear or see a person with a weapon, call 911 immediately and campus safety and security if possible at 815-740-3200. Give your location and description of the person if you can.

If you hear what sounds like gun shots and you are not sure, remove yourself from the area and call 911 if you can. If not, turn off the lights in your dorm, classroom or office, block the door with furniture and silence your phone. Do not go out into open areas. Remain quiet and vigilant. Stay where you are until you are told to do otherwise.

If the police come upon you, show then your open hands. They are trained to look for threats and are not sure who is a suspect. Do not move until you are told to do so. We should react with three survival words in our minds at all times: RUN, HIDE and FIGHT.

  • Alert others and pull the closest fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Do not use the elevator.
  • Grab your purse/wallet/keys.
  • Close all doors behind you as you leave.
  • Help those needing assistance.
  • Evacuate to your building assembly point.
  • Do not re-enter the building until the fire department or police makes the all-clear announcement.
  • Call 911.
  • Provide as much additional information as you can, such as where the fire is (building name and address) and if there are people inside.
  • Self report basic personal information to emergency response personnel for tracking

Could you extinguish a fire?

  • For a small fire, try to extinguish it. (See below for extinguisher directions)
  • Do NOT use an extinguisher if:
  • You are not comfortable putting out the fire.
  • Heavy smoke is filling the room or it is difficult to breathe.
  • Your escape route could be blocked.
  • The fire is large or spreading rapidly (larger than a trashcan).
  • The fire is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling.
  • There are hazardous materials (flammable liquids) present.
  • If the above listed conditions exist, close any doors and evacuate instead.

How to extinguish a fire:

  • P ull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.
  • A im the hose at the base of the fire.
  • S queeze the trigger.
  • S weep the hose from side to side at the base of the fire.

If you experience a medical emergency (i.e., heart attacks, loss of consciousness, large loss of blood, serious accidents, or seizures):

  • Have someone call 911 immediately and USF Safety, Security and Transportation Service Desk (815-740-3200). Relay your information such as; building, room, address, and the nature of the emergency. Do NOT hang up with the 911 operator until you are released.
  • Search the area for any hazards that may have caused the emergency or could be hazardous to first responders. This could include downed power lines, chemicals, or motor vehicle traffic.
  • First aid or CPR should be given. This may include using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
  • Send someone to wait outside the building to escort emergency medical personnel to the scene.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED):

    These devices are deployed in many buildings across the USF campus, and USF Safety, Security and Transportation Public Safety vehicles. They are easy to use, although training in CPR/AED is strongly recommended.

In the event of a medical emergency:

  • Call 911 and USF Safety, Security and Transportation Service Desk (815-740-3200).
  • Render first aid or CPR. Only attempt to help someone to the extent that you are comfortable or trained.
  • AEDs are located throughout the USF campus. The locations of AEDs are posted on building “You Are Here” placards. Become familiar with the locations in the USF buildings you frequent.
  • USF squad car carries a AED and is likely to be the first responder on the scene.
  • Send someone to wait outside the building to escort emergency medical personnel to the scene.Hands Only CPR

How to use an AED:

Dealing with the summer heat:

  • Avoid heat related medical emergencies by: Avoiding extensive sun exposure and strenuous activities, drink plenty of water, and wear light colored, loose clothing.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse; fainting; vomiting.
    Lie the victim down in a cool, shady place.
    Loosen clothing.
    Apply cool, wet cloths and fan the victim.
    Move to an air conditioned place if possible.
    Seek medical follow up. If vomiting occurs, call 911 and the USF, Safety, Security and Transportation Department Service Desk (815-740-3200).
  • Heat Stroke: Symptoms are high body temperature; red, hot, and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; possibly unconsciousness.
    Call 911 and the USF, Safety, Security and Transportation Department Service Desk (815-740-3200). Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency and can be fatal.
    While waiting:
    Carefully move the victim down in a cool, shady place.
    Try a cool bath or sponging to lower body temperature.
    DO NOT give fluids.

For guidelines on how to respond to an emergency situation, please review the University of St. Francis Emergency Reference Guide. 

Guides are also posted throughout campus next to building maps.

For a quick, pocket reference, please print the Emergency Preparedness Handbook