Students endured a few disruptions to their normal class schedule this week, but it was all for a good cause: it was Safety Week at Nebraska Methodist College, and each day of the week had a different theme.
The event kicked off with information geared toward fire safety. NMHS Safety Officers were on hand with a digital fire extinguisher to let students test out their fire-fighting skills, something that’s sure to come in handy for anyone who faces down a kitchen, electrical or any other kind of fire.
NMC then initiated two separate fire drills: one focused on the college itself and the other geared toward campus housing. Students were evacuated from the buildings, and once everyone was safely outside, they were brought back in to continue their day.
Drug and Alcohol Safety were at the heart of Tuesday’s efforts. NMC and colleges throughout Nebraska are raising awareness of a new law that holds particular importance to those under the age of 21.
Essentially, the law goes like this: if you’re a minor who has been drinking and you find yourself in a situation where a friend is suffering what looks to be Acute Alcohol Intoxication, you can dial 911 without fear of an MIP.
This law was passed so that minors don’t delay a potentially life-saving phone call just to avoid criminal prosecution. If it saves a life, the police are willing to overlook what would otherwise be an MIP under other circumstances, as it’s more important to get a seriously ill person the help he or she needs.
As if this lesson weren’t valuable enough, NMC students, one of whom is pictured below, posed in a bodybag throughout the morning to emphasize the point even further.
The Clery Act was at the center of awareness efforts on Wednesday. NMC brought students’ attention to the Clery Annual Security Report, which lists incidents that have taken place on campus so that students and staff alike can be made aware of what’s transpired.
In addition, posters were placed in the dining hall that tasked passing students with identifying persons who could be construed as a threat. On the other side were the answers. What students found was that threats aren’t always easily recognizable, and it’s up to everyone to exercise sound judgment and to react appropriately if anything unusual happens around them.
NMC also hosted a series of lockouts designed to educate students on the value of wearing their ID badges at all times. At random intervals throughout the week, campus security would randomly lock doors and students wouldn't be able to get through for a set period of time unless they had their badges with them.
On the other hand, if students were spotted wearing their badge correctly, they were entered into a prize drawing.
Thursday raised awareness about the danger of distracted driving, and a board was set up at the front of the college that highlighted facts about this serious threat confronting modern roadways. A pledge was set up and signatures collected from anyone willing to commit to not texting while at the wheel of an automobile.
This day also marked the beginning of a seatbelt and distracted driving safety check held in the parking lot. Volunteers were stationed along the entrances to the school, ready to hand out prizes to anyone wearing their seatbelts and refraining from using their cellphones as they drove to class.
Distracted driving is nothing to be trifled with, and we hope anyone who reads this is willing to refrain from using their phones while their vehicle is in motion.
After the initial distracted driving check got called off early due to the rain on Thursday, volunteers continued their work on Friday.
But the cornerstone of Friday’s safety proceedings was an Active Shooter drill. NMHS Security System Leader Jeff Farmer prepared students for what was going to happen before an announcement went out letting people campus-wide know that the drill was taking place.
Everyone on campus was asked to either Run, Hide or Fight, the three things an individual should do when confronted with a legitimate Active Shooter threat.
The rest of the day involved important communications regarding the E2Campus system and the importance of the Blue Lights placed throughout the parking lot.
Do The Safety Dance
We hope everyone learned a few things during Safety Week, but we know there will always be ways to improve. Thank you to everyone who participated, and remember to always strive for safety in all your actions.