Emergency Preparedness

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Recent Higher Education Act (HEA) provisions require institutions to prepare a statement of campus policies regarding immediate emergency response and evacuation procedures. The following links will provide a video and other pertinent information on our Emergency Management Plan and Preparation Guidelines.

Emergency Notification System (StagAlert)

Fairfield University's Emergency Notification System (StagAlert) permits the simultaneous distribution of broadcast e-mails, text messages, and voice calls (including voice mails for calls unanswered). The system is used to distribute emergency notifications only in situations where a clear and active (e.g. in progress) threat or emergency exists that impacts the community and where it is recommended that the recipients take some form of action in response to the active threat or emergency. Periodic updates regarding the status of the situation will be provided as needed.

LiveSafe App Launch

Fairfield University wants to reiterate the steadfast commitment to the safety and security of our campus and ensuring the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a team of highly trained officers who are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. The University also maintains a close working partnership with the Fairfield Police Department and Fairfield Fire Department to ensure that our community is safe both on- and off-campus.

Last week, the University announced a new safety app, LiveSafe. LiveSafe allows all users to have two-way, real-time communication with DPS. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who download the app have the ability to submit real-time tips—texts, photos, videos, and location information—anonymously, as well as request an in-person and virtual safe-walk service.

  • Download LiveSafe from Google Play or the App Store
  • Register with your phone number.
  • Search “Fairfield” and follow directions to complete the download.

In addition to more upcoming active shooter trainings, DPS is available to provide tailored training to groups in their work areas and has provided the attached downloadable safety tips document for you to review. Please contact Public Safety to coordinate training at 203-254-4000 ext. 4090.

As a Jesuit institution dedicated to the care for the whole person, the safety of our community is a top priority.

For any concerns or questions, DPS can be reached 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 203-254-4000 ext. 4090.

Active Shooter

The term Active Shooter refers to an individual or group of individuals who are actively engaged in the wanton killing or attempted killing of people within a congested area. The term can be applied to individuals who are using any device to cause death, whether it is a firearm or other object.

Rapid Response refers to the course of action taken by responding officers who will take necessary action to stop all active shooters. The action is only undertaken for dynamic situations involving immediate killing. At Fairfield University, rapid response will be undertaken by both Fairfield University Public Safety Officers and/or Town of Fairfield Police Officers.

It is important to remain calm. Notify 911 immediately and be prepared to report what is happening to include the number of shooters, description, types of weapons used, number of injured and your location.

Actions to take by either faculty, staff or students:

  • If escape IS possible:
    • Leave the area immediately while notifying others in the area of the situation
    • Call 911 as soon as possible, preferably as you vacate the area using a cell phone
    • Leave all packs and bags behind
    • Go to a secure area and await further instructions
  • If escape IS NOT possible:
    • Go into a room (office, classroom, storage area) that can be locked preventing anyone from entering
    • Lock yourself inside and remain quiet while staying out of the view of any windows and doorways
    • Call 911
    • Remain hidden and await further instructions

Please understand that responding officers will move quickly to the area where the active shooter is located. Expect officers to ask questions about the shooter (location, description, direction of travel) and to demand you keep your hands visible. Responding officers must not only identify the assailant, but must determine you are not involved in the situation. Be prepared to follow the commands of responding officers.

If you are in hiding, await announcements that the area is "All Clear" from proper public safety or police officers. Be sure to verify the individual making such an announcement is in fact an officer.

Taking some type of action is better than no action at all.

Please take a minute and review the tips for what you should do if you if you find yourself in an active shooter/active killing incident.



  • If you hear shots or know of an incident taking place but don’t see the suspect, run
  • Find an accessible escape path and evacuate as far away as possible
  • Have escape routes in mind before an incident happens
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any public safety officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people


  • If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide
  • Be out of the suspect’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door, large metal items, vault style doors)
  • Do not trap yourself or restrict your options for movement (have a plan B)
  • To prevent the suspect from entering your hiding place lock the door and blockade the door with heavy furniture
  • If the suspect is nearby: silence your cell phone and turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Remain quiet
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police and public safety to the suspect’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen


  • Take action against the suspect as a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the suspect by:
    • Acting as aggressively as possible
    • Throwing items
    • Improvising weapons (pens, fire extinguishers, scissors)
  • Commit to your actions


  • Remain calm
  • If you have information about the suspect relay that to officers
  • Follow officers’ instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets, weapons)
  • Immediately raise hands
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers or holding onto them for safety
  • Avoid screaming and yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

Shots Fired on Campus

Guidance for Surviving an Active Shooter Situation

Emergency Plan

The Department of Public Safety Officers are highly trained first responders and are prepared to take action to any emergency situation that may arise on campus. A Crisis Management Team as well as an Incident Management Team are in place to allow immediate response by individuals performing specific roles and functions already predefined.

An Emergency Management Plan has been developed by the Department of Public Safety as part of our ongoing effort to protect Fairfield University students, faculty, and staff. Faculty and staff have participated in an informational program where emergency guides were reviewed and distributed for initial actions and response options in the event of an emergency.

The development of this plan is based on a realistic assessment of potential incidents that could affect our community and the capabilities to react to those situations. It is a comprehensive approach utilizing the Incident Command and National Incident Management System and may effectively be applied to any critical incident.

Fairfield University's Emergency Notification System (StagAlert) permits the simultaneous distribution of broadcast e-mails, text messages, and voice calls (including voice mails for calls unanswered). The system is used to distribute emergency notifications only in situations where a clear and active (e.g. in progress) threat or emergency exists that impacts the community and where it is recommended that the recipients take some form of action in response to the active threat or emergency.

Prevention, mitigation, planning, preparation, response, and recovery are all part of the elements of our Emergency Plan, which is reviewed and updated on a continuous basis.

In the event of an incident, the University works very closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to resolve any situation on campus and strives to restore normal operations.

Emergency Guidelines

Initial Actions

  • Call DPS ext. 4090 or 911
  • Provide your name, nature and location of incident and a call back phone number where you can be reached
  • Take action to protect yourself or other individuals in need of assistance and directing responders to the scene
  • Await instructions from DPS, police or University officials

Types of Incidents

  • Hostage Situation: Avoid quick moves, do nothing to provoke your captor and stay calm
  • Fire/Explosion: Pull the alarm, evacuate the building and get low to the ground in the event of heavy smoke conditions
  • Hazardous Material Release/Gas Leak: Avoid contact, do not use cell phone or other electrical devices and be prepared to evacuate the building
  • Bomb Threat: Keep caller on the phone as long as possible and document everything the caller states, ask questions regarding the location of device and be alert to any background noise present
  • Violent Intruder: Lockdown if possible, disregard knocks on the door, but be prepared to confront the intruder if necessary
  • Weather Emergencies: Depending on the severity of the storm, close all doors and be prepared to move into the interior corridors away from outside walls and windows

Response Options

  • Seek Shelter: Use a piece of furniture as a shield, move away from windows and doors, stay low and remain quiet
  • Lockdown: lock doors and windows, turn off lights, draw blinds and move into isolated section to minimize your exposure
  • Evacuation: Evacuate in an orderly, calm fashion, close doors behind you and do not turn off lights or equipment
  • Police or DPS will notify you of the evacuation and/or relocation site

For Incident Instructions and Updates

  • Stag Alert Emergency Notification System
  • Website www.fairfield.edu
  • University e-mail

Emergency Shuttle Bus Locations

  • Dolan Commons
  • Alumni Hall
  • Quick Center for the Arts

Emergency Preparedness

What to know:

  • ps_dispatchHow to contact and find the Department of Public Safety
  • How to update your contact information on the Stag Alert System
  • The exit routes from a room/building/field/area
  • Primary & secondary escape routes
  • Emergency shuttle bus locations
  • Where to go for incident instructions and updates
  • Location of emergency phones on campus
  • How to activate the fire alarm system nearest you

What to have:

  • Flashlight and transistor radio with spare batteries
  • Map of campus/town/state/region
  • Duct tape
  • Bottled water and energy bars
  • Whistle
  • Spare cash
  • Prescribed medication
  • First Aid kit
  • Warm winter clothing

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