Emergency Procedures

All emergencies, whether fire, medical, or police related, should be immediately reported to the proper authority by dialing 911 from any phone on campus. You will be immediately put in contact with the Luzerne County 911 Center. When reporting any type of emergency it is important to remain calm.

The 911 operator will need the following information:

  • Your name
  • Building address (see campus 911 map), building name and room number
  • Nature of emergency
  • Callback number
  • Injuries to anyone

Do not hang up the phone unless instructed to do so!

Once you have reported the emergency to 911, notify Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Office of Police & Public Safety at 570-675-9111 or 570-406-2058 (cell).

All incidents that are believed to be of a non-emergency nature should also be reported to the Office of Police & Public Safety.

Fire/Building Evacuation

The buildings on this campus are equipped with both automatic fire detection devices that are designed to assure rapid detection of an incipient fire, as well as manually activated pull stations. Before an emergency occurs, learn the location of your building’s pull stations, the location of the nearest exits, your designated gathering area, and what action to take should one of these alarms sound. Your life may depend on it!

Fire Alarms

When a fire alarm sounds:

  1. Everyone is required to immediately leave the building. If time permits, take your personal belongings (laptop, purse, medications, coat, etc.)
  2. Make sure all windows and doors are closed when leaving a room. This helps to eliminate the oxygen needed to support combustion and the wind currents necessary to spread it. Also, by closing the doors the fire will become compartmentalized and hopefully contained to the area of origin.
  3. Immediately move to the nearest exit and leave the building. Use stairs only; do not use elevators. If your primary escape route is blocked by fire, know and use a secondary exit. When exiting by normal means is impossible you should return to your office or classroom; place something (preferably wet) under the door openings to block smoke and the products of combustion; and go to a window where you can be seen and wait to be rescued. If there is no window, call 911 to make emergency responders aware of your location.
  4. Once safely outside, move to the prearranged gathering location for your building, where supervisors and faculty can take a head count to determine that everyone is out. This will greatly help eliminate the possibility of anyone having to risk their lives re-entering the building to conduct an unnecessary search. Here are the designated meeting locations for each building on campus:
    • Hayfield House → Science Center Auditorium (S-101)
    • Student Commons → Athletic & Recreation Building, Gymnasium
    • Academic Commons → Science Center Auditorium (S-101)
    • Murphy Student Services Center → Academic Commons
    • Nittany Courts Modular ABCDEF → Science Center Auditorium (S-101)
    • Science Center → 105 Hayfield House
    • Bell Center for Technology → Science Center Auditorium (S-101)
    • Athletic & Recreation Building → 105 Hayfield House

When it has been determined that it is safe to re-enter the building, occupants will be instructed to do so by public safety officials. Do not re-enter the building before then.

Smoke or Fire

If you smell smoke or see fire:

  1. Pull the closest fire alarm (pull station).
  2. Evacuate the building, following the instructions above.
  3. Once outside, call 911.
  4. Go to your designated meeting area.

Bomb Threats

If you observe a suspicious object or potential bomb on campus do not handle the object! Clear the area and call 911.

If you receive a bomb threat call, gather as much information as possible. Never disregard any call related to a bomb scare.

  • Ask the caller to repeat the message and record every word that is spoken.
  • Try to ask:
    • When will the bomb detonate?
    • Where is the bomb located?
    • What kind of bomb is it?
    • What does the bomb look like?
  • Talk to the caller as long as possible and document the following:
    • Time of call.
    • Age and gender of caller.
    • Speech pattern, accent.
    • Emotional state of caller.
    • Background noise.

As soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify the Office of Police & Public Safety at 570-675-9111 or 570-406-2058 (cell).

The Office of Police & Public Safety will then activate the bomb threat procedure as outlined in the Campus Emergency Plan.

Active Attacker

In the event of an active threat, such as a shooter, remember: Run if you can, Hide if you can’t, and Fight as a last resort.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Make sure it is safe to leave the area you are in. Use your eyes and ears to determine if it is safe to run.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Once in a safe place, call 911 and give detailed information about what is happening. Don’t assume someone else has already called the police.


  • If unable to run from the danger, your second option should be to hide.
  • Find a place that’s out of the attacker’s sight and remain quiet.
  • Do not huddle together, because it makes an easier target.
  • Lock and barricade doors with whatever is available, such as desks, chairs, or door wedges. Shut off lights.


  • Fighting is a last resort to be used only when your life is in imminent danger. (However, sometimes fighting may be the first and only option.)
  • Find an object to use as a weapon, such as a fire extinguisher, backpack, book or chair.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the attacker; commit to your actions; work with others to disable the assailant.

Learn more about the Active Attacker Response Program

Violent or Criminal Behavior

  • If you are a victim or a witness to any on-campus offense or observe a criminal act or suspicious person on campus, promptly call 911. 911 will dispatch University Police.
  • To report an emergency situation or to call for assistance if you feel threatened, you can use one of the emergency phones located across campus.
  • Supply the officers with any additional information.

Medical Emergencies

  • If serious injury or illness occurs, call 911.
  • Follow the dispatcher’s instructions and answer all questions.
  • Don’t hang up until you are told to do so.
  • Don’t leave the scene until help arrives.
  • 911 will dispatch University Police.
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are located on campus in the ARB and the Police and Public Safety offices for emergency use.

Psychological Crisis

A psychological crisis may exist when a person is threatening harm to themselves or others, or appears to be out of touch with reality.

If a psychological crisis occurs:

  • Never try to handle on your own a situation you feel is dangerous.
  • In emergencies, call 911.

Media Inquiries

All news media questions about campus emergencies should be immediately referred to the Office of Strategic Communications, 570-675-9269.