BCIT confirms emergency policy: call 911

Laura Johnston / October 29, 2018

A BCIT code blue emergency phone. (Laura Johnston / BCIT News)

Campus security has been the talk of the town in Burnaby lately. In the past month, an SFU student suffering from mental illness attacked a classroom of students, and an SFU student recently passed away during a midterm exam due to a heart attack.  The university community has taken to social media to speak out about the campus safety policy, response times, and why they have been encouraged to call campus security instead of 911. According to SFU, the policy is to call 911 as well as security if the situation calls for it. Some guidelines, however, leave out 911 altogether.

At BCIT, the policy has always been to call 911 for a major medical emergency, says Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Management Glen Magel.

“The very first thing is clearly going to be the importance of the medical, so if the assessment of the people in the room is that they need a first responder, then they would call 911.” says Magel. “Then we would ask that they would follow up with calling security. Once security were involved, they would be the ones to triage the response with the external first responders. The intent is to get some form of first aid there as soon as possible, and that would be followed up with external first responders.”

Magel also encourages students to make use of the BCIT Safety Wise app, through which anyone can communicate directly to campus security, or 911. The blue emergency phones situated around campus also connect to security through the E-comm system, and so do all in-house BCIT landlines.

While Magel hopes anyone would call 911 in the event of a medical emergency, we spoke to students on BCIT campus about what they would do in an emergency, and what they know of the safety and security policy.

I think BCIT probably has first aid or someone to come right away if you called security. I also think probably the best option would be to call 911 because I know there was a situation that happened even at SFU, and they did say to call 911 as well as contact the security on campus so you have help from both so I’m hoping that’s what BCIT does and that’s their policy, but I would do that.

Mehak MunirBCIT Student

In the case of an emergency, I would probably first check for pulse and just body responses, and then also have somebody else already calling 911. Then I’d stay with them until the ambulance came. I don’t know what the BCIT policy is. Probably just call 911 directly I would think?

Margaux BlakeleyBCIT Student

If someone had a heart attack right now what would I do… I don’t really know CPR so I guess I would maybe try my best? If someone knows better they could do that. Or depending on how I feel I might just leave it alone. We probably have designated first aid people around here, so I think [BCIT] would probably want you to do that, I think if it was an emergency they’d probably want us to respond quickly and I would.

Mitchell Swanson BCIT Student

Check out our interactive storymap showing the distance to emergency services from SFU and BCIT below.

With files from Sahil Morar and Jeff Malo.