Weeky Safety Tips - Spring 2018

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, students, faculty and staff must be prepared. You must be mentally preparedYou must be an engaged and active learner.


May 7, 2018

Drinking & Driving

In all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in the United States in 2016. Of these, 2,017 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels of .01 to .07. It appears buzzed driving really is drunk driving.

You know the rules. You know the laws. You've most likely viewed many PSAs regarding drinking and driving. Some are graphic; all are tragic. As graduation approaches, many of you will want to celebrate your accomplishments. We ask that you do so wisely. Use a designated driver (DD). Call a cab or Uber. Know how you are going to get home before you leave home.

April 30, 2018

The spring 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. 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

April 23, 2018

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

April 9, 2018

Driving and Pedestrian Safety

  • The speed limit on College Drive is 25 mph, then 15 mph in front of the main buildings.  The speed limit is 5 mph in the parking lots.
  • Be sure to observe all parking rules and regulations prior to coming to campus. The information is located on the PVCC website.
  • Being familiar with the parking areas will allow you to be more aware of your surroundings when driving on campus.
  • Follow the directional arrows on the pavement in the parking lots.
  • Vehicles approaching the traffic circle must yield for vehicles already in the traffic circle.  Be wary of cars in the circle yielding for pedestrians.
  • Watch for pedestrians, not only in crosswalks but in the parking lots as well. Per State Law, drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Please do NOT pick up/drop off at the south entrance or in parking lot 2. Pick up and drop off is located at the west entrance.
  • If you are involved in an accident, witness a hit-and-run, or find damage when you return to your vehicle, please contact the office of public safety & campus police at 434.981.6362.


  • Look for cars backing up; look for white backup lights or signs the motor is running.
  • Expect others not to see you. Some drivers may be distracted. Do not step into the roadway until the driver has stopped for you, or has acknowledged your intent to cross with eye contact, a wave or a nod.
  • Walk defensively.
  • Walk focused and alert. No texting, listening to music or anything that takes your eyes, ears, or your mind, off the road and traffic.
  • Anticipate what other road users might do—turns, pulling out of a parking space or driveway, backing up. The sooner you notice a potential conflict, the quicker you can act to avoid it.
  • Give drivers extra time to slow or stop, especially in poor weather (ice, snow, rain), and low visibility (dusk, dawn, fog, or night). Just because you can see others, does not mean they can see you.
  • Walk on sidewalks, when possible. If not, walk as far to the left, facing traffic.
  • Look left-right-left and behind for traffic before crossing a driveway or road.
  • Cross in marked crosswalks, at corners, or at intersections.

Credit: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

April 2, 2018

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 recently 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.

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Business/story?id=7434509&page=1

CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/15/card-sharks-atm-skimming-grows-more-sophisticated.html

March 26, 2018

Distracted Driving

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

The National Safety Council (NSC) observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.

The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. 

Each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever. 

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.

According to Road Trip America, "I never saw him!" is the most common excuse heard after a collision.

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!

March 12, 2018

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. 

March 5, 2018

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.

February 26, 2018

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 bathroom across from J111, the family bathroom on the left past the JABA Mary Williams Community Senior Center and through the emergency back hallway to the right of J112.

February 19, 2018

Intuition, Instinct and PVCC Safe Escort Services

Need an escort to or from your vehicle or classroom?

Call PVCC Office of Public Safety 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
synonyms: 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.)

Animals and humans both possess instinct. Among many things instinct does is keep help keep us from danger.  Have you ever seen animals run towards a fire or a loud noise? Humans though on the other hand routinely ignore instincts in regards to dangerous situations.  First responders and members of the military are examples.

Intuition though seems to be uniquely possessed by humans. Pet owners will often debate this point. Humans though can use intuition to keep safe. Intuition is that “gut feeling” or “hunch” as defined earlier. That tells you something or someone isn’t right or safe. 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, and 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 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.

February 12, 2018

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.

February 5, 2018

Flu Prevention

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a three-step approach to fighting influenza (flu). The first and most important step is to get a flu vaccination each year. But if you get the flu, there are prescription antiviral drugs that can treat your illness. Early treatment is especially important for the elderly, the very young, people with certain chronic health conditions, and pregnant women. Finally, everyday preventive actions may slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

What Are Everyday Preventive Actions?

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you (or your child) stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

• If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/flu

January 29, 2018

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

This week’s safety tip is about automated external defibrillators – or AEDs. AEDs 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). SCA is 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 NIH, 95% of people who have SCA die from it—most within minutes. Rapid treatment of SCA 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

January 22, 2018


In addition to PVCC’s Omnilert Emergency Notification System, you may want to consider signing up for an emergency alert system for the locality in which you reside. Most 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: No longer uses an emergency notification system. Emergency management information can be found here.

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 Omnilert 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. 

January 16, 2018

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 a Maxient - 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 (Maxient - 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.

January 8, 2018


This week’s safety tip is about how to sign up for e2Campus emergency alert system.

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

Signing up for Omnilert is a fast, free and easy way to have alert messages sent directly to your phone, laptop or other mobile device.

It only takes a couple minutes to sign up, and you can register two text-enabled cell phones and two email addresses.

If you have questions about any of the documents, or general questions regarding safety, please contact the Department of Public Safety & Campus Police at 434.961.5319.