Skip to site content

Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives


     Indian Health Manual
Share This Page:

Circular 03-01


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE
Rockville, Maryland 20852

Refer to: OMS

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CIRCULAR NO. 2003-01

Effective Date:  02/26/2003

HEADQUARTERS EMERGENCY, SECURITY, AND SAFETY GUIDANCE

Circular Exhibits
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-A, “Conducting Building Searches”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-B, “Emergency Procedure Review Form"
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-C, “Disabled Employee Emergency Evacuation Questionnaire”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-D, “After Hours Building/Parking Access and Security”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-E, “Responses When Receiving a Bomb Threat”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-F, “Observation Checklist: Suspicious Person(s) and Vehicles”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-G, “Workplace Violence”
Circular Exhibit 2003-01-H, “Mailroom and Mail Procedures”

  1. PURPOSE.  This Circular establishes the policy and procedures for the physical safety and security of employees, visitors, and Government resources during regular and emergency situations at the following Indian Health Service (IHS) Headquarters buildings in Rockville, Maryland: Twinbrook Metro Plaza (TMP), 12300 Twinbrook Parkway; and the Reyes Building, 801 Thompson Avenue.

  2. AUTHORITY.

    1. Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR), 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 101-20.103.4/5.

    2. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Safety Management Manual, Chapter 2-00, “Guidelines for Emergencies.”

    3. The HHS General Administration Manual, Chapter 7-02, “Building Evacuation Plans for the Handicapped.”

    4. Indian Health Service Special General Memorandum No. 95-4, “Workplace Violence,” June 1,1995.

  3. SCOPE.  This Circular applies to all IHS employees and visitors working or visiting in either TMP or the Reyes Building.  The requirements and authorities of this Circular are in effect for all employees and visitors once an emergency is declared, whether the emergency is declared in response to an emergency situation or for training purposes.  All IHS employees and visitors located in the Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland, will follow the emergency evacuation guidelines found in the “Parklawn Building Occupant Emergency Plan.”  (A copy of the plan may be obtained in Room 5B-41,Parklawn Building.)

  4. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS.  Emergency Preparedness includes both the expedient evacuation of employees from the building and the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).  Building evacuation procedures are addressed in this Circular.  The COOP is outside the scope of this Circular, and is covered in detail in IHS Circular No. 2002-02.

    The objective of the COOP is the continuation of essential services under emergency conditions and the restoration of services to normal, as soon as possible.  The COOP Team assumes control of the emergency situation immediately following building evacuation.  The direct linkage to the COOP is through the Emergency Organization Team (EOT) that is also an integral part of the COOP Team.  The COOP uses the Incident Command System (ICS) structure.  The ICS requires that an individual be designated as the Incident Commander (IC); that person is the principal interface with all other disaster-recovery personnel.

    After the employees are successfully evacuated from the building, the EOT will cease their activities.  The COOP Team will then begin disaster-response and disaster-recovery activities and the resumption of Agency essential functions.  Some EOT members will become COOP Team members as the disaster-response activities progress.

  5. POLICY.  The IHS shall provide a safe and healthful work environment for its employees and visitors that is free from recognized hazards.  The Agency will take steps to eliminate or minimize harm during emergency situations to these individuals and to Government property or programs.

  6. SUMMARY.  The knowledge and implementation of the following six basic facts when an emergency signal sounds will protect IHS employees and visitors.  (Explaining the six basic facts involves a combination of familiarity with the contents of this Circular, discussion, and training.)  The facts are:

    1. Know where to go once outside the building in the event of an emergency building evacuation:  "Evacuation Safe Location."

    2. Know where to go inside the building in the event of an emergency building lockdown:  “Lockdown Safe Location.”

    3. Report to your supervisor or Floor Coordinator any situation that may lead to an emergency, and once an emergency is declared, that you are going to the designated safe area.

    4. Know who the Floor Coordinator is, in case your supervisor is not available.

    5. Understand that anyone wearing a vest is a member of the EOT and can provide assistance and directions to quickly get individuals to a safe location.

    6. If you are away from your assigned area when the alarm is sounded, leave with the evacuees.  Report your name and regular assigned work space to the supervisor or Floor Coordinator of the work area you are visiting.  Then, as safely and quickly as possible, descend to the ground floor, evacuate the building, and go with the evacuees to their designated “Evacuation Safe Location.”

  7. DEFINITIONS.

    1. Building Emergency Coordinator.  The Building Emergency Coordinator assists the Designated Official and is the second senior IHS official of the building.  (See 7E. below).

    2. Command and Control Center.  The Command and Control Center is the location where all emergency procedures are coordinated and all emergency-related information is received, compiled, and disseminated.

    3. Command and Control Center Location.  The location of the Command and Control Center is generally inside or immediately outside the main entrance of the building, depending on the situation.  The exact location of the Command and Control Center is established by the Designated Official.

    4. Command and Control Center Personnel.  Only the Designated Official, the Building Emergency Coordinator, the Incident Commander, and the Public Affairs staff representative will staff the Command and Control Center.  All others must proceed to their Evacuation Safe or Lockdown Safe Location.

    5. Designated Official.  The Designated Official manages all emergencies and has the authority to declare an emergency, activate the EOT, and make the determination to lockdown or evacuate the building.  The Designated Official is the senior IHS official of the building.

    6. Disabled Employee.  This includes any employee requiring assistance to proceed to an area of safety inside or outside the building.

    7. Evacuation Assistant.  The Evacuation Assistant is an individual who volunteers to assist a specific disabled employee during an emergency to minimize harm to the individual.

    8. Emergency Evacuation Signal.  When an emergency evacuation signal sounds, ALL employees and visitors must evacuate the building.

      1. The alarm sound at TMP is a bell and a red flashing light.

      2. The alarm sound at the Reyes Building is a horn and a white flashing light.

      3. Emergency battery-operated lighting in TMP and the Reyes Building will activate.

    9. Emergency Organization Team.  The EOT is a team activated in an emergency situation, usually to assist in evacuating the building or controlling access into or out of the building.  A member of the EOT cannot perform more than one role on the EOT.  Members of the EOT are as follows:

      1. Designated Official (one per building, designated by position)

      2. Incident Commander (one per building, designated by position)

      3. Building Emergency Coordinator (one per building, designated by position)

      4. Floor Coordinator (one per floor, designated by position)

      5. Public Affairs Specialist (one per building, designated by position)

      6. Evacuation Assistant (one per disabled employee, approved by Designated Official)

      7. Stairwell Monitor (one per floor at each stairwell, approved by Designated Official)

    10. Emergency Organization Team Volunteer.  The EOT volunteer is an individual who volunteers to ensure the safety of other employees as they exit the building or as they proceed to a designated safe location within the building.

    11. Emergency Situation.  An emergency situation is a sudden and unplanned occurrence that can negatively affect the conduct of business or safety of employees, other individuals, and/or Government property.

      1. An emergency situation may be caused by a bomb threat, civil disturbance, fire, electrical power failure, natural disaster, medical emergency, suspicious package, etc

      2. Emergency situations will likely result in an evacuation or a closing of the building to prevent access or exit.

    12. Evacuation Safe Location.  The Evacuation Safe Location is an agreed-upon place outside the building for people to meet and receive instructions, in the event of an emergency building evacuation.  The location must be sufficiently distant from the building to ensure the safety of employees and not impede the emergency activities or vehicles of the response teams or police.

    13. Fallback Safe Location.  A Fallback Safe Location is designated for each floor in the event all exits are blocked due to an emergency.  The Fallback Safe Location is the place where rescue workers outside the building will go first to assist employees to exit the building.

    14. Floor Coordinator.  The Floor Coordinator oversees the safe movement of employees on his/her floor during an emergency.  The Floor Coordinator is the senior IHS official on the floor who is not assigned any other EOT responsibilities.

    15. Lockdown.  Lockdown is the sealing off of all access to and from the building as a result of possible outside dangers (ie., chemical spill, person with a weapon, demonstrations, bomb threat, or severe weather.)

    16. Lockdown Safe Location.  The Lockdown Safe Location is a designated conference room or work area that can accommodate a large number of employees.  The Building Emergency Coordinator will designate one Lockdown Safe Location per floor.

    17. Public Affairs Specialist.  The Director of Public Affairs will assign a member of the public affairs staff to the EOT for each building.  Once an emergency is declared, the public affairs specialist will proceed to the Command and Control Center and serve as spokesperson to respond to requests for information from the media and those who are not engaged in assisting with the emergency.

    18. Senior Official.  The Senior Official is a Government employee who is senior to all other employees either by Federal service grade or commissioned corps equivalent grade for the particular position or responsibility as outlined in this Circular.

    19. Stairwell Monitor.  A Stairwell Monitor is an EOT member assigned to monitor a designated exit stairwell.  Each Stairwell Monitor ensures the exit stairwell at the assigned floor level is clear of hazards before allowing employees to use the stairwell.  The Stairwell Monitor is a voluntary EOT position requiring supervisory approval.

    20. Supervisor's Alternate. The supervisor’s alternate is generally the individual who serves in a deputy capacity in the absence of the supervisor.

    21. Suspicious Object.  Examples of suspicious objects are:

      1. Any item or package not usually associated with the work area, even though it may appear to be a usual item found in an office setting.

      2. Something that appears to be a gift but also appears to be unusual.

    22. Suspicious Person.  Examples of suspicious people are:

      1. Any person unknown to an employee and not wearing an IHS or visitor’s badge and who is not being escorted by someone with an IHS badge.

      2. Someone unknown to an employee and wearing an IHS or visitor’s badge but who creates an air of suspicion by appearance or activity.

  8. RESPONSIBILITIES

    1. Emergency Organization Team.  The EOT has the prime responsibility for the prompt and safe movement of people from areas of danger or potential danger. When the EOT is called into action, the members have the responsibility to issue directions to any occupant of the building. In the event of a:

      1. Building evacuation.  The EOT must promptly and as safely as possible ensure that people move to a safe place away from the building.

      2. Building lockdown.  The EOT must assist in securing the building from entry and exit, and ensure people are directed to a safe place within the building.

    2. Alternate.  Each EOT member should have a designated alternate approved by the Designated Official.  Emergency Organization Team members have the safety of many people in their hands and are responsible for:

      1. Issuing safety and emergency directions to any person in IHS space in the building.

      2. Reviewing and maintaining a working knowledge of current emergency-related instructions and directives.

      3. Knowing the work location of every disabled employee within their assigned areas of responsibility.

      4. Identifying all stairwells, elevators, rest rooms, emergency alarm-pull stations, emergency equipment, locked rooms, and telephones within their assigned areas of responsibility.

      5. Operating emergency equipment.

      6. Being familiar with various audio and hand signals to aid in communicating under adverse conditions.

      7. Instructing personnel on emergency procedures during emergency drills.

      8. Ensuring they have clearly identified, trained alternates in the event an emergency occurs and an EOT member is not in his/her usual location.

      9. Ensuring the alternate can locate the EOT vest and carry out the EOT responsibilities.

      10. Ensuring all individuals in the assigned area move to the designated area of safety.

      11. Informing the Floor Coordinator, if applicable, of the location and name of any individuals who refuse to leave the work area to proceed to the designated safe location.

      12. Proceeding to a designated safe location along with other employees in the event an emergency arises when they are not at their usual location and cannot secure the orange or yellow EOT vest and assume their EOT responsibilities.

      13. Remaining at the safe location unless the Designated Official requests they report to the Command and Control Center.

      14. Safeguarding the safety of employees and visitors during an emergency situation.

      15. Regularly instructing personnel, particularly new employees, in their work area on emergency procedures.

      16. Reviewing and understanding the emergency procedures and organization outlined in this Circular.

      17. Having readily available the orange or yellow EOT identification vest issued to them and wearing the vest throughout the emergency.

    3. Command and Control Center Personnel.  The Command and Control Center Personnel will coordinate all emergency procedures and EOT activities, including receiving, compiling, and disseminating all emergency-related information (e.g., ensuring the regular supervisor of a visiting employee is notified that the employee has been accounted for).

    4. Designated Official.  The Designated Official is responsible for:

      1. Managing emergencies in the assigned building.

      2. Making a determination, based on the information resources and counsel at hand, to evacuate all employees to a safe location outside the building.

      3. Declaring a lockdown.

      4. Having all employees moved to a designated safe location within the building.

      5. In case of evacuation, determining and making an announcement where all employees of the building shall be congregated in one location.

      6. Providing a situation report outlining the nature of the emergency and the actions taken, and performing liaison duties for any emergency assistance requested by the IHS Designated Official in the other building, as soon as possible.

      7. Notifying the Rockville Police Department and Parklawn Building security, and keeping them informed during the emergency.

      8. Activating the EOT members who can assist in gathering information and keeping a written log of the events.

      9. Continually assessing the need to declare an emergency when the situation warrants.

      10. Recommending to the Director, IHS, to dismiss employees from work, while also protecting Government resources, if such an action is warranted to ensure the safety of employees.

      11. Identifying a Command and Control Center location (usually inside or outside the front entrance of the building, or as close to the building as safety allows).

      12. Exercising operational control over emergency procedures from the Command and Control Center.

      13. Serving as the head of the EOT.

      14. Ensuring that:

        1. All EOT positions are filled

        2. All EOT members are trained to carry out their duties.

        3. All EOT members are familiar with this Circular.

      15. Complying with additional Designated Official responsibilities outlined elsewhere in this Circular.

      16. Wearing a white safety vest with "DO" in large black letters on the back for easy identification as the head of the EOT during an emergency situation.

    5. Building Emergency Coordinator.  The Building Emergency Coordinator is the senior official, not otherwise assigned as the Designated Official, in the building.  The Building Emergency Coordinator establishes the Command and Control Center once an emergency has been declared and coordinates the EOT activities.  The Building Emergency Coordinator is responsible for:

      1. Reporting to and assisting the Designated Official in carrying out the DO'S responsibilities.

      2. Identifying safe locations and fallback safe locations within the building for each floor.

      3. Assuming the responsibilities of the Designated Official in the absence of the Designated Official or if the Designated Official can no longer carry out these duties.

      4. Establishing the Command and Control Center in support of the Designated Official.

      5. Maintaining and updating (every 6 months) a list of all employees who have first aid or medical training, and can assist employees who are injured or have a medical emergency.

      6. Maintaining floor plans for all the floors in the building.

      7. Ensuring the floor plans have been clearly marked to indicate the location of:

        1. Disabled employees.

        2. EOT members.

        3. Medically trained and/or first aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation trained employees.

        4. Cutoff stations for ventilation, power, and water.

        5. Emergency equipment.

        6. All safe locations.

        7. All fallback safe locations.

        8. A chart of the following (provided by the Safety and Security Emergency Workgroup) during an emergency:

          1. All known hazards resulting from the emergency.

          2. Cleared spaces as reported by the Floor Coordinator.

          3. The names of all employees unaccounted for and their usual office locations.

      8. Assisting the Director, Division of Administrative Services (DAS), to ensure that required training of EOT members and disabled employees is conducted.

      9. Providing a comprehensive written report after the activation of the EOT and emergency plan, for any reason (training, false alarm, actual emergency, etc.), to the Designated Official within 2 working days of the event. The report should contain, at a minimum, an assessment of the application of the emergency procedures, recommendations for change, and a list of all employees who did not comply with the policy and procedures. (See Circular Exhibit 2003-01-B for a suggested Emergency Procedure Review Form.)

      10. Ensuring a first-aid area is set up, once requested by the Designated Official.

      11. Ensuring all Floor Coordinators are aware of the nature of the emergency and whether the emergency requires the evacuation or the lockdown of the building.

      12. Ensuring EOT members assist employees to comply with emergency procedures and policy as outlined in this Circular.

      13. Wearing an orange safety vest with "BEC" in large black letters on the back for easy identification as a member of the EOT.

    6. Floor Coordinator.  The Floor Coordinator is responsible for:

      1. Carrying out the emergency plan on the assigned floor.

      2. Overseeing the movement of employees during an evacuation on the floor.

      3. Using plain language and shouting clearly into the main work areas on the floor (repeatedly until assured that Evacuation Assistants, Stairwell Monitors, and supervisors are taking the appropriate actions and employees are leaving their work areas) to convey the nature of the emergency and directing employees to evacuate the building or proceed to the designated safe area or fallback safe area within the building.  Typically the Floor Coordinator will shout, “This is an emergency!  There is a (bomb threat, fire, explosion, etc.) and all employees will evacuate the building immediately!” or “This is an emergency lockdown of the building.  All employees will immediately proceed to the safe area in this building!”  (The location will be specified.)

      4. Accepting all reports from evacuees, supervisors (or designees), and other EOT members on the assigned floor, and providing the information to the Building Emergency Coordinator.

      5. Assessing hazards on the floor and determining the best safe location to direct the evacuation.

      6. Ensuring employee traffic flow is moving as quickly and safely as possible out of the building during an evacuation or to the safe location on the floor during a lockdown.

      7. Marking the location of known hazards onto the designated floor plan.

      8. Receiving reports from supervisors on areas cleared of employees.

      9. Communicating with the Building Emergency Coordinator by sending oral or written messages via departing employees, or by using communication devices such as pagers or telephones.

      10. Determining the floor is all-clear.

      11. Securing the floor after all employees have departed for the designated safe location.

      12. Proceeding to the Command and Control Center to provide the Building Emergency Coordinator with a final report about:

        1. The floor (particularly if their floor is the one with the emergency).

        2. Employees evacuated.

        3. The status of disabled employees and Evacuation Assistants.

        4. The name and usual location of every unaccounted for employee.

        5. The name and location of every visiting employee.

      13. Proceeding to the designated safe location to assist with crowd control unless requested by the Designated Official to remain and assist with the Command and Control Center.

      14. Ensuring EOT members are aware of their duties and required equipment is available and operational.

      15. Complying with additional Floor Coordinator responsibilities outlined in the “Employee Responsibilities” section of this Circular.

      16. Wearing a red vest with the assigned floor number in large white letters on the back for easy identification as a member of the EOT.

    7. Evacuation Assistant.  The Evacuation Assistant ensures the safety of his/her assigned disabled employee as they both exit the building or proceed to a designated safe location within the building.  The Evacuation Assistant can be relieved of the assigned responsibility only by the Floor Coordinator, not the disabled employee.  The Evacuation Assistant is responsible for:

      1. Keeping exit routes clear.

      2. Ensuring that he/she and the disabled employee are out of the way and do not impede other EOT members from carrying out their responsibility to assist others in evacuating the building or in proceeding to a safe location within the building.

      3. Reporting to the Floor Coordinator on the status and location of himself/herself and the disabled employee.

      4. Remaining with the disabled employee until able to evacuate the building with the employee or the Fire Department or rescue personnel arrive to provide evacuation assistance.

      5. Informing the Floor Coordinator prior to leaving the assigned floor with the disabled employee to evacuate the building or proceeding to the Lockdown Safe Location in a lockdown situation.

      6. Assisting the disabled person back to the office once the emergency is over or to a means of transportation if employees are dismissed from duty.

    8. Incident Commander.  The Incident Commander (IC) is responsible for:

      1. On-the-scene management until command authority is passed off to another person who then becomes the IC.  Initially, the IC will be the first responder to arrive at the scene who is IC-trained.

      2. The IC will brief the new IC if and when a transfer of command takes place.

      3. The IC is a standing member of the COOP team.  The IC will continue to function as a part of the COOP Emergency Response Team.

    9. Stairwell Monitor.  The Stairwell Monitor is responsible for:

      1. Proceeding to the designated stairwell on his/her floor when the emergency signal sounds.

      2. Checking the stairwell (from the assigned floor level by shouting to other Stairwell Monitors for information about the stairwell at other floor levels) for smoke, fire, or other hazardous conditions before allowing employees to use the stairwell.

      3. Blocking the stairwell if it is unsafe and directing employees to an alternate safe stairwell or safe location.

      4. Assisting employees to move quickly and safely.

      5. Once the stairwell is clear, immediately notifying Evacuation Assistants and disabled employees that the stairwell is available for their evacuation.

      6. Reporting to the Floor Coordinator when, to the best of the Stairwell Monitors knowledge, the floor is clear; ensuring the Floor Coordinator knows that he/she is leaving the floor; upon exiting the floor, fully closing the stairwell door; proceeding to the safe area to assist with crowd control, and once the “all clear” signal is given, assisting employees back into the building.

      7. Wearing a yellow safety vest, with no markings, easily identifying them as a member of the EOT.

    10. Public Affairs Specialist.  The Public Affairs Specialist is responsible for:

      1. Keeping Command and Control Center EOT members from being distracted from coordinating emergency activities.

        1. To accomplish this task, the Public Affairs Specialist will be included in Command and Control Center activities, be provided information in response to his/her questions, and will observe activities and acquire information in anticipation of questions from the media.

        2. The Public Affairs Specialist has no EOT authority to direct employees in emergency procedures other than to relay information from the Designated Official, as directed.

      2. Advising the media that no transmission of information can occur until cleared by the Designated Official in the event a perceived threat could be activated by microwave transmission of satellite news communications or devices.

    11. Supervisors.  Supervisors are responsible for:

      1. Notifying their supervisor and the Designated Official if they are not physically capable of carrying out their EOT responsibilities and providing the name of the individual who will carry out these responsibilities during an emergency.

      2. Leaving the work area only after ensuring all employees and visitors have cleared the area and all reasonable efforts have been made to account for all employees.

      3. Reporting the following to the floor coordinator:

        1. The all-clear status of the work space.

        2. The name and usual location of every employee unaccounted for.

        3. The name and usual location of every employee, contractor, and visitor who was in the work space at the time the emergency was declared.

        4. The status of any employee or visitor requiring assistance.

      4. Proceeding to the safe location, after reporting to the Floor Coordinator, and, again, accounting for all supervised employees.  Supervisors and employees will remain together in the safe location until the "all clear" signal is given to return to the work spaces.

      5. Ordering all persons (including contractors and visitors) in the work area, to promptly evacuate the building or, in the event of a lockdown, to proceed to the designated safe area within the building.

      6. Conducting a thorough check of all rooms (behind doors, under desks, etc.) to account for the employees they supervise, visitors, and any other employees in the area at the time an emergency is declared.

      7. Ensuring, before leaving the work area, that the Evacuation Assistant has arrived to assist any disabled employee in the area and that the Evacuation Assistant and disabled employee have departed for the safe location.

      8. Assuming the responsibilities of the Evacuation Assistant in the event he/she does not arrive to assist the disable employee.

      9. Assisting employees back to the work space when the "all clear" is given.

      10. Ensuring that within 1 week of their arrival, new employees are instructed on emergency procedures and the safe locations for the office staff.

      11. Reviewing emergency procedures with all employees at least annually.

      12. Ensuring disabled employees in their workgroup complete the “IHS Disabled Employee Emergency Evacuation Questionnaire” (see Circular Exhibit 2003-01-C) and providing the completed form to the Floor Coordinator within 1 week of each employee’s identification of himself/herself as disabled.

      13. Ensuring employees attend and participate in required training.

      14. Allowing employees who have volunteered (with supervisory approval) as members of the EOT to attend required training and meetings.

      15. Complying with the additional supervisory responsibilities outlined throughout this Circular.

    12. Employees.  Employees are responsible for:

      1. Complying with all EOT instructions.

      2. Proceeding immediately to the Evacuation Safe Location outside of the building if the emergency requires evacuation or to the Lockdown Safe Location within the building if the emergency requires a lockdown.

      3. Reporting, if outside the regular workspace when an emergency is declared, to the nearest supervisor and providing their name and usual work location.  The supervisor will forward this information to the Floor Coordinator to whom he/she reports.

      4. Proceeding to the visited workgroup's Lockdown Safe Location inside the building in the event of a lockdown.

      5. Exiting with the visited workgroup in the event of a building evacuation.  Once the Evacuation Safe Location of the visited workgroup is reached, and if an employee's assigned Evacuation Safe Location is within the line-of-sight, the employee may notify the visited workgroup's supervisor that he/she is leaving to go to his/her assigned Evacuation Safe Location.  If the employee's designated Evacuation Safe Location is not within the line-of-sight, the employee will remain where he/she is until the "all clear" is sounded.

      6. Proceeding directly to the assigned Evacuation Safe Location outside of the building, if not in the building when an emergency evacuation is declared.  Until the supervisor arrives at the Evacuation Safe Location, employees will provide their name and usual work location to anyone wearing a vest (who will ensure that information reaches the Command and Control Center).

      7. Not returning to the building, if not in the building when a lockdown emergency is declared, and it is apparent that the building is under attack.  Employees should take whatever steps necessary to ensure their safety, hiding any items that may identify them as connected to the building.  If an employee can safely communicate to those inside the building, he/she should do that so the Command and Control Center can account for his/her safety.

      8. Being familiar with the Stairwell Monitor and Evacuation Assistant responsibilities outlined in this Circular in order to assume those responsibilities if they are able to exit the building before those members of the EOT are able to assist them.

      9. Assisting a disabled visitor to the Evacuation Safe Location area in the event of an evacuation emergency.

      10. Notifying their supervisor of exiting the building.

    13. Director, DAS.  The Director, DAS, is responsible for:

      1. Establishing working relationships with local, State, and Federal authorities, e.g., fire and police departments, and the Parklawn Security Office.

      2. Planning and implementing safety, security, and emergency information activities.

      3. Ensuring that no less than three emergency drills are conducted each year for all employees, with at least one unannounced drill for EOT members in evacuating and/or locking down the building.

      4. Ensuring periodic training is conducted for EOT members, with at least one training session annually to include disabled employees.

      5. Ensuring a record of safety and security issues is maintained.  The record will include type of incident, action taken, and outcome.

      6. Ensuring a list of self-identified disabled employees and their Evacuation Assistant (and alternate) is submitted to the Building Evacuation Coordinator.

      7. Ensuring the development of procedures for conducting searches of buildings or areas of buildings in response to emergency situations.  (See Circular Exhibit 2003-01-A.)

      8. Other duties include the following (on a biannual basis):

        1. Generating a list of emergency numbers and disseminating it to all employees.

        2. Generating an “Emergency Procedures for Employees” flyer, including the names and telephone numbers of all EOT members, and disseminating it to all employees.

        3. Providing a floor plan of all floors to the Designated Official, Building Evacuation Coordinator, and Floor Supervisors of the Reyes Building and TMP.  For security purposes, the floor plans will not be placed on the IHS internet or intranet Website.  (Floor plans can be disseminated to IHS Headquarters via e-mail.)

        4. Coordinating and maintaining communications with the IHS COOP Team.

      9. Ensuring the IHS Circular No. 2003-01, “Headquarters IHS Emergency Safety and Security Guidance,” is reviewed/updated on an annual basis.

      10. Providing contact information, including home and cellular phone numbers, to the Reyes Security Guard Desk (301-443-3643) and the Parklawn Security Guard Desk (301-443-4144), and allowing this information to be provided to an IHS employee reporting any after-hours incident or emergency.

  9. PROCEDURES.

    1. Building Evacuation Procedures.

      1. Method of Evacuation.  Upon hearing the Emergency Evacuation Signal (see definition in Section 7H), all employees are to immediately notify their supervisor that they are exiting the building.  If an employee is away from the assigned work area when the alarm is sounded, he/she is to notify the supervisor or the Floor Coordinator of the visited work area and leave with that work area’s evacuees.  As safely and quickly as possible, employees should descend to the ground floor, and evacuate the building to the designated Evacuation Safe Location.

      2. Evacuation - Reyes Building.  Members of the EOT in orange or yellow vests will direct employees and visitors to stairwells and exits that have been determined to be safe.  In the event the exit stairwell is inaccessible, employees on the inaccessible floor(s) will gather in the two corner offices (with windows) on the opposite side of the building (Fallback Safe Locations).  These will be the first locations where outside rescue teams will proceed to help employees exit the building.  The Floor Coordinator(s) will assess the situation and determine whether windows should be removed and employees prepared to exit the building upon of the arrival of the rescue teams.

      3. Evacuation -TMP.  Members of the EOT in orange or yellow vests will direct employees and visitors to stairwells and exits determined to be safe. Since there are sufficient exits from each floor of the TMP building, alternative exit routes are not anticipated. If all exits are blocked, the Floor Coordinator will decide where employees should gather on that floor and establish a means of communicating that location to those outside the building and/or in the Command and Control Center.

      4. Evacuation Safe Location.  After exiting the IHS facility, employees will proceed (unless otherwise directed by an EOT member) to their designated Evacuation Safe Location, a location away from the building and emergency response vehicles and activities, set by their supervisor.  The supervisor will again account for all employees and maintain supervisory control.

      5. Re-entry of Building.  After the “all clear” is given by the Command and Control Center, the Designated Official or Building Emergency Coordinator will instruct employees to re-enter the building.

    2. Building Lockdown.  The Designated Official will make the determination to order a lockdown of the building, activate the EOT, and the Command and Control Center (see Section 8D). The Floor Coordinator will notify the supervisors and all employees on the floor by the most expeditious means, usually by shouting into each of the main work areas on the floor that an emergency lockdown situation exists and all employees are to proceed immediately to the Lockdown Safe Location on that floor of the building.  If instructed to stay in the building, the employees and/or visitors will be directed to the designated Lockdown Safe Location.  The Lockdown Safe Location is the designated area where an employee/visitor should go inside the building in the event of a building lockdown emergency.  The Stairwell Monitors will station themselves at the stairwell doors to preclude their use by employees, short of physically restraining them and sustaining personal injury.  Once all employees on the floor have reached the Lockdown Safe Location, the Floor Coordinator and Stairwell Monitor will proceed to the Lockdown Safe Location. The Floor Coordinator becomes the senior official in the Lockdown Safe Location for the duration of the lockdown. The Stairwell Monitors will station themselves at the Lockdown Safe Location doors until the lockdown situation has passed. If a Floor Coordinator determines there is a compelling reason for an employee to temporarily leave the Lockdown Safe Location, he/she will direct the Stairwell Monitor to escort the employee.  The same procedures outlined in Section 9A, "Building Evacuation Procedures," will apply for accounting for employees and visitors in a lockdown.  All employees will remain in the Lockdown Safe Location until the Designated Official cancels the lockdown and employees can return to their workstations.

    3. After-hours Building/Parking Access and Security.

      1. Building security is the responsibility of all employees. Refer to Circular Exhibit 2003-01-D for additional information and required security procedures for all Headquarters employees.

      2. Access to Headquarters buildings and work spaces requires an official IHS employee badge.

      3. Access to the TMP parking garage at all times and to the TMP building after regular work hours, requires an electronic pass card issued by the DAS.

        1. Employees must immediately report a lost or stolen badge or electronic pass card to DAS; this way the card can be quickly deactivated to ensure the continued safety and security of employees and property.

      4. Any incident occurring after hours in the Reyes Building or TMP, (i.e., a suspicious person, package, or vehicle; bomb threat; fire; etc.) must be reported immediately to a Reyes security guard.

        1. Depending on the nature and immediacy of the emergency, 911 should be called.

        2. The Designated Official must be notified of any incident (i.e., a suspicious person, package, or vehicle; bomb threat; fire; etc.) occurring after hours in the Reyes Building or TMP:

          1. Immediately in an e-mail or phone call.

          2. In person, by the employee and the security guard the following business day.

      5. If the fire alarm sounds, employees are to evacuate the building as quickly and safely as possible, leaving personal items and vehicles where they are until given the “all clear” by an emergency official.

  10. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.

    1. Disturbance or Demonstration.  If a disturbance or demonstration is imminent or occurring, all employees will:

      1. Maintain as normal a working posture as the situation will permit.

      2. Remain at their stations, unless relieved by their supervisor.

    2. Bomb Threat.  If a bomb threat is received by an employee, the employee should:

      1. Attempt to obtain and write down as much information as possible (refer to Circular Exhibit 2003-01-E).

      2. Hang up after the caller hangs up and immediately activate the “Call Trace Star 57” feature of the phone system so the incoming call can be traced.

        1. The Call Trace feature is activated by lifting the handset, dialing *57, and hanging up.

      3. After activating the Call Trace feature, the employee will:

        1. Notify the supervisor (if not already done) of the bomb threat, and provide any brief and pertinent information so the supervisor can notify the Designated Official, who in turn will notify security and the appropriate authorities.

        2. Continue to write down as much information about the call as possible while it is still fresh and not distorted by questions or discussion.

        3. Not engage in discussion and debriefings regarding the call and threat until after everything has been written down and a copy has been provided to the Designated Official by the supervisor.

      4. After the employee and the supervisor notify the Designated Official:  The Designated Official will initiate an investigation and determine whether to declare an emergency and activate the EOT.  Depending on the location of the alleged bomb, the Designated Official will declare either an emergency evacuation or lockdown of the building by expediently initiating notification through the internal communication systems (e.g., telephone or shouting.)

    3. Suspicious Person.  An employee observing a suspicious person should not confront him/her.  The employee should observe and note features and other information in order to provide a description (refer to Circular Exhibit 2003-01-F).

      1. Outside the Building.  To report a suspicious person, the employee should contact either the Reyes Security Guard Desk at 301-443-3643 or the Parklawn Building Security at 301-443-4144 to report the incident and then notify his/her supervisor, who, in turn, will notify the Designated Official.

      2. Inside the Building.  Employees encountering a suspicious person inside the building should use caution (such as, having another employee accompany them) in approaching the person and offering assistance. The employee may instead notify the supervisor or building security if there is a concern about approaching the stranger.  If the suspicious person approaches the employee, the employee should be polite, not agitate the person, and, as soon as possible, call the Reyes Security Guard Desk at 301-443-3643 or the Parklawn Building Security at 301-443-4144.

    4. Suspicious Object.  If a suspicious object is encountered, it should not be touched.  The description and location should be reported to the supervisor and to the Reyes Security Guard Desk at 301-443-3643, or to Parklawn Security at 301-443-4144.  The supervisor will notify the Designated Official.

    5. Suspicious Vehicle.  Parking lot incidents that require immediate attention should be reported to a Reyes Building security guard and/or the employee's supervisor.

      1. The supervisor will notify the Designated Official who will assess the situation and implement appropriate actions. If the incident does not require emergency or EOT intervention, regular administrative procedures will apply.

      2. The supervisor will ensure, within 2 days of the incident, the Designated Official receives a written report describing the incident so that the incident can be assessed for risk and possible hazards.

    6. Workplace Violence.  The IHS has a zero-tolerance policy on workplace violence, as outlined in Special General Memorandum (SGM) 95-4, "Workplace Violence."  The SGM applies equally to the behavior of all employees, contractors, and others with whom employees work.  Staff who commit or threaten violent acts or acts of intimidation in the workplace are subject to governing policies and procedures regarding employee misconduct.  In addition, if warranted, misconduct will be referred to local police and legal authorities.

      1. If an employee feels this policy has been violated, the employee may contact his/her supervisor, the Division of Human Resources, the Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Staff, and/or a Union representative.

      2. If an employee creates a workplace-violence situation that threatens to harm other employees and visitors, usually the best option is to comply with the employee's demands.

      3. Refer to Circular Exhibit 2003-01-G for identifying behaviors that may indicate the potential for a violent situation to occur.

    7. Hostage or Terrorist Situation.  If a hostage or terrorist situation occurs and the perpetrator threatens to harm employees and/or visitors, usually the best option is to comply with the perpetrator's demands.  Attempting to alert others to the hostage situation is usually not critical since most often perpetrators will alert the authorities themselves.

      1. The Designated Official will alert the police and other officials who have trained personnel experienced in handling hostage situations.

      2. The Designated Official will determine if others in the building can be safely evacuated.  If evacuation is appropriate, no alarms or shouting (unless warranted) will be used.

    8. Disasters.

      1. Severe Weather - Outside of Regular Workday.  If a severe weather condition occurs outside of the regular workday, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will make the determination as to whether non-essential employees will report to work.

      2. Severe Weather - During the Regular Workday.  If a severe weather condition occurs during the regular workday:

        1. The Designated Official will make the determination whether to declare an emergency lockdown and activate the EOT and the Command and Control Center.

        2. The Director, IHS, or OPM will make the determination as to whether non-essential employees will be dismissed from the workplace.

      3. Power Failure.  Should a power failure occur, emergency lighting will activate.  Emergency power is provided to fire systems, emergency lighting systems, and security systems.  If the power failure occurs during the regular workday, employees should stay within their work areas.  Elevators will not have power.  If an employee is in an elevator at the time of the power failure, he/she should follow the emergency call instructions in the elevator.

        1. The Designated Official will coordinate with others to determine the cause of the power outage and estimate the time it will take to restore power.

        2. The Designated Official will activate the EOT for communication purposes only to convey information to supervisors and employees.

        3. The Designated Official will fully activate the EOT and Command and Control Center if the situation requires an emergency to be declared.

      4. National Security.  See the Continuity of Operations Plan.

      5. Fire.  Evacuation procedures will be implemented without delay and without waiting for the arrival of EOT members.  The first employee noticing fire or smoke in a work area shall immediately take the most reasonable actions (regardless of sequence):

        1. Pull the fire alarm.

        2. Notify the supervisor.

    9. Medical Assistance First Aid.  Any employee encountering a medical emergency should seek help or render first aid and notify the supervisor, appropriate authority, or any member of the EOT wearing a vest.  Medical assistance should be summoned the quickest way possible in the event of a serious accident or illness involving employees or visitors.  The supervisor or appropriate authority will notify the Designated Official.

      1. Mailroom and Mail Procedures.  The Reyes Building Mail Room serves the Reyes Building and TMP (see Circular Exhibit 2003-01-H).  The mail room is secured and is restricted to mail room staff only.  In the event an incident occurs related to mail or mail services, the Designated Official, should be notified.

  11. SUPERSEDURE.  None.

  12. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Circular is effective on date of signature.

/Charles W. Grim, D.D.S./
Charles W. Grim, D.D.S., M.H.S.A.
Assistant Surgeon General
Interim Director

Back To Top  |  Previous Page
CPU: 52ms Clock: 0s