Weekly Safety Tips

Three consecutive governors have ordered increasing levels of preparedness and encouraged and expected a culture of preparedness in the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) workforce. The culture is supposed to encompass more than the deployed security staff. That is to say, it is not just up to the police, and any employees whose primary job descriptions designate their security and safety responsibilities. So the expectation of all of us as employees and members of the college community of the COV is that we are ready and during an emergency, we will respond with initiative and leadership to protect the students, faculty, staff, and property of the COV.

Not only must this institution be prepared, but students, faculty, and staff must be prepared. You must be mentally prepared. You must be an engaged and active learner.

Fall 2019 Safety Tips


Week of December 2, 2019

Tips to Battle Stress During Final Exams

The fall semester is quickly drawing to a close, and most of you are thinking about one thing. Finals. Below are links to tips on how to alleviate stress during exam time. Be sure to check out the Student Success Office as well for some great apps that can help with study and stress. Some important tips include:

·        Take a break every 45 minutes during study sessions
·        Exercise/go outside and get some fresh air
·        Get plenty of sleep
·        Eat well-balanced, healthy foods
·        Find ways to unwind and relax
·        Do not drink caffeine in excess and, of course, stay away from alcohol




If you have followed these tips and are still experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety, please contact a counselor immediately.

Crisis counseling services are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday in the Admissions and Advising Office. No appointment is needed. Call 434.961.7777 or 434.961.6581 or come to the office and ask for the crisis counselor on duty. All crisis counseling sessions are free and confidential. You can also schedule an individual appointment with a counselor by calling 434.961.5264.

Veterans counseling services: If you are a veteran who is struggling with mental health or other emotional issues please contact PVCC's Military and Veterans Advisor, Jackie Fisher, at 434.961.5282.  She will meet with you to discuss both PVCC and outside resources as needed.

On-campus referrals: PVCC has a partnership with Region Ten Emergency Services that allows our students to be seen by a Region Ten counselor within 24 hours or as an emergency. In case of a mental health crisis, college counselors and the dean of student services will help set up this appointment at no cost to the student.

Off-Campus: Should you experience a mental health crisis off campus outside of normal college business hours, please call Region Ten Emergency Services at 434.972.1800 or call 911.


Week of November 18, 2019

Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

This week’s safety tip is about making way for emergency vehicles.

It is the law for ALL drivers to yield the right-of-way to an ambulance, fire truck or police vehicle when you hear sirens and see flashing lights. When you see an emergency vehicle approaching, you should:

  • Remain calm
  • Slow down
  • Move to the right-hand side of the road
  • Stop, if possible

Always be aware of your surroundings and do not play your radio so loudly that you can't hear your sirens. The next time you see an emergency vehicle approaching, do the right thing and move to the right.

More information can be found at the links below.

Emergency vehicles show 'close calls,' urge drivers to pull over: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNNir4B7ZMY

Pull to the Right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieQTBHvFsnY

Virginia Beach offers important "What to Do" information on its website.



November 11, 2019

Credit Card/Bank Card Skimming

Credit card/bank card skimming is a method thieves use to steal your credit card information. Skimming is a new crime that doesn’t just happen in large metropolitan areas. Skimming thefts have occurred in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Skimmers are hidden on gas pumps and ATM machines, where your credit card information is copied from the magnetic strip on the card. Cameras are also used at ATM’s to copy your PIN. Once the card information is captured, thieves can make fraudulent purchases using your information.

We have included several links in this week’s tip, as there is much to learn about skimming and many useful tips to prevent it from happening to you.

How to Spot and Avoid Skimmers

6 Tips to Avoid ATM Skimming


November 4, 2019

Distracted Driving

This week’s safety tip is about distracted drivingToday’s technology makes it easier than ever to become distracted behind the wheel.

Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes for three years straight (2016-2018). The NSC provides a graph of crash factors in each state. The primary reason for crashes in Virginia is distracted driving.

The amount of vehicle and foot traffic at PVCC makes it that much more important to pay attention while driving on campus. Serious injuries can occur, even at low speed. 

Parking Lots: Did you know 20% of all accidents happen in parking lots?  The Erie Insurance website offers information on how to avoid parking lot accidents. If you are ever in a parking lot accident, you may wonder who is at fault. The Ameriprise Insurance website offers interesting information on which driver has the right-of-way in parking lots. 

Please don’t text while driving or make a habit of adjusting your car’s music or navigation systems. Be alert for pedestrians and other drivers – NEVER assume the other person is paying attention!


October 28, 2019

Tornado Preparedness

Please take a moment to read these important safety tips. These tips will help you in the event of a tornado on campus. 

Be Prepared:
        Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

Tornado Watch means a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio/TV stations for information.

Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler Radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.

Know in advance where you will take cover in case of a tornado warning. Review PVCC’s Emergency Procedures.
The following interior locations are designated as Severe Weather Shelter Areas at PVCC:

Keats Science Building (490 College Drive):
Upper and Lower Level Hallways; Restrooms

Main Building (501 College Drive):
M155, M158, M159, M160, M174, M175, M248, M249, M251, M607, M701, M813, M822, M823, M832, M834, M849, M850

Stultz Center (600 College Drive):
S100, S101, S109, S111, S113, S119, S131

V. Earl Dickinson Building (400 College Drive):
D102, D106, D129, D130, D132, D222, D223, D226

Off-Site Locations:

Giuseppe Center (Greene County):
In the event of a tornado or severe windstorm requiring shelter, all persons should move to an interior hallway, restroom or other interior room without windows.

Jefferson School (Charlottesville)
In the event of a tornado or severe windstorm requiring shelter, all persons should move to an interior hallway, restroom or other interior room without windows. PVCC’s designated “safe rooms” are on the first floor in the family bathrooms and through the emergency back hallway to the right of J112.


October 21, 2019

Choking Prevention

Choking is a serious medical emergency which could lead to death if not treated immediately. We have all heard of the Heimlich Maneuver, but do you know how to use the maneuver in an emergency? Would you know what to do if you were alone and choking?

Medlineplus.gov offers education on the Heimlich Maneuver and how to use it in a variety of situations. 


October 14, 2019

Bystander Intervention

We can all play a role in preventing violence by practicing effective bystander intervention. Simply put, bystander intervention is taking responsibility for getting involved when we see a situation that could cause potential harm. We know that by speaking up, stepping in, or calling for help we have the potential to change a dangerous escalating situation. Bystander intervention involves much more than just reacting when there is a threat of physical danger or bodily harm. It also involves stopping comments and jokes that glorify sexual violence, or that degrade women or sexual orientation. It might also mean that you pay attention when someone has consumed too much alcohol and help them get to a safe place.

More information on bystander intervention can be found on the PVCC SAFE web page.


October 1, 2019

PVCC Annual Security Report

The Annual Security Report contains crime statistic and other information which is required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act. I encourage you to read the report and feel free to contact the Chief of Police, Dwayne Bowles, if you have any questions or concerns.


September 30, 2019

Reporting a Campus Incident

This week’s safety tip is about reporting a campus incident. If you see something, please say something.

There may be times when you see something happening on campus that, while not immediately dangerous, makes you feel uncomfortable or something you want the college to know about. You can easily report the information online.

Visit pvcc.edu/pvccsafe and click “report an incident”. Incidents can be reported anonymously, but remember; the more information you provide, the more we will be able to respond and investigate. Also, don't forget if something you see poses an immediate threat call 911 or contact the campus police at 434.981.6362.


September 23, 2019

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

This week’s safety tip is about automated external defibrillators – or AEDs, which are a proven and effective way to save a life during a cardiac emergency.  Almost anyone can operate one.

What is an AED? An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 70% - 90% of people with Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) die before they reach the hospital. Rapid treatment of SCA and OHCA with an AED can be lifesaving. SCA usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person's life. 

Did you know that here at PVCC, we have 7 AEDs distributed throughout our Main Campus? AEDs are located near the receptionist’s desk in the Main Building, in the 200 Wing near the Business Division Office (Room 270), in the 800 Wing near the Human Resources Office (Room 810), in the Dickinson Building near the Humanities Division Office (Room 317), in the Stultz Center near the entrance and in the Keats Science Building near the 100 and 200 hallways.

Would you know how to use one of them in an emergency situation? Here is a link to walk you through the use of one of the AEDs on PVCC's campus: Phillips HeartStart AED Video 

To learn more about heart rhythms and AEDs, visit The National Institute of Health


September 16, 2019

Intuition, Instinct, and PVCC Safe Escort Services

Need an escort to or from your vehicle or classroom?

Call PVCC Department of Public Safety & Campus Police at 434.981.6362

Intuition is one of the best tools we have for keeping ourselves safe.

The Oxford Dictionaries define intuition as: “The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning "we shall allow our intuition to guide us."

Synonyms: Instinct, intuitiveness, sixth sense, clairvoyance, second sight, hunch, feeling (in one's bones), inkling, (sneaking) suspicion, idea, notion, premonition, presentiment, gut feeling, gut instinct.

“One way to distinguish between instinct and intuition is to think of instinct as something you don't have a conscious choice about - it will cause you to respond to events in a particular way, whether you want to or not. Whereas intuition is a feeling, a hunch that makes one way of responding more attractive to you than others, but you can still choose to follow it or not” (Gus Griffin, Master your instincts, Master your life).

We often ignore our intuition for many reasons. Often not to offend or seem rude to others. There are many examples of individuals ignoring their intuition and becoming tragic victims of crimes. Ignoring that “gut feeling” by letting a stranger come inside to use the phone or help carry in groceries; that man in the park that gives off “bad vibes”; not reporting unusual behavior by a co-worker or student; many other examples you hear and read about every day. This ignoring of that “uncomfortable feeling” often leads to tragic consequences.

There are many studies and experts expounding on the role of intuition in personal safety. They all agree on one thing. Instinct is developed from information that our brain is processing without us knowing. Instinct is something that should never be ignored.


September 9, 2019


In addition to PVCC’s e2Campus Emergency Notification System, you may want to consider signing up for an emergency alert system for the locality in which you reside. All localities served by PVCC have an emergency notification system for their residents.

Most of these sights deliver real-time emergency, community, missing person and severe weather alerts to users within the area of impact. We have compiled a list for your convenience.

Charlottesville/Albemarle: https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/BF7B5552C1EC

Greene County: https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/924270CF2CAD

Fluvanna County: https://www.fluvannacounty.org/es/page/fluvanna-county-resident-emergency-alert-system-everbridge

Buckingham County: http://www.emergencyemail.org/add.asp?src=&lc=29510

Louisa County: https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736721723#/login

Nelson County: http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/residents/reverse-911-system/

Please do not forget to sign up for PVCC’s e2Campus Emergency Notification System as well, which will keep you informed in the event of an emergency situation in which there is an imminent threat to public safety at or near PVCC. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

September 3, 2019

If you SEE something SAY something

We are all a part of a community that protects each other. If you see something that you feel may affect the safety or security at PVCC or may disrupt the educational process, please fill out an incident report form. After receiving your report, a group of trained professionals from across campus will review your report and determine what needs to be done. Never hesitate to report a concern.  

I don’t know if I should report what I observed.

We understand. Sometimes it can be tough to report something. Typical behaviors that should be reported include, but are not limited to:

·        Disruptive behavior

·        Concerning behavior

·        Possession of a weapon or weapons on campus

·        Emotionally troubled individuals

·        Depression, excessive anxiety, self-destructive behavior

·        Hostile, threatening or aggressive behavior

·        Alarming references or infatuation with fires, firearms or bombs

·        Acts motivated by hatred or discrimination

·        Alcohol or drug abuse

·        Drastic, unexpected behavior change

·        Threats of any kind (verbal, written, electronic communication, social media)

Individuals are expected to use their judgment as to what should be reported, erring on the side of over-reporting, when in doubt.  

How to Report

CALL 911 if violence is imminent or is occurring.

Report an incident (Incident Reporting Form)

You may choose to complete the incident report anonymously or provide your name and contact information. You may be contacted by a member of the assessment team in order to gather additional information about your concern. Please be aware that your communication may be subject to review through FERPA or other laws governing communications.

You may also contact the Campus Police at 434-981-6362 (cell) or you may contact the Dean of Student Services at 434-961-6540 if danger is not imminent.


August 27, 2019


This week’s safety tip is to provide you with information regarding the e2Campus/Omnilert Emergency Notification System. You are encouraged to sign up for this very important method of notification, which will provide emergency notifications regarding the college.

Registration for emergency notification can be found on the PVCCSAFE Web page.

Direct access to the Emergency Notification Web page is here. You can also register for the notification alerts from the Campus Police link found under About PVCC dropdown menu at the top of PVCC's main Web page. Once on the Campus Police page, select Register for Text & Email Alerts from the left toolbar.

In the event of an emergency or inclement weather, it is essential for PVCC students and staff to get timely and correct information regarding emergencies, school closings or delays.

Signing up for e2Campus is a fast, free, and easy way to have alert messages sent directly to your phone, laptop or another mobile device. It only takes a couple minutes to sign up, and you can register two text-enabled cell phones and two email addresses.  


Spring 2019 Safety Tips

If you have questions regarding safety, please contact Police Chief Carl Murray, Jr. at 434.961.5488 or cmurray@pvcc.edu.