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Emergency Codes

What to do Once a Code is Called

Switchboard will announce the code 3 times.

Response teams are put into action.

Staff members in affected areas will respond.

You stand by and listen for an announcement for any action you may have to take.

 CODE GREEN - Evacuation

A Code Green refers to a disaster and other situations requiring a partial or complete evacuation of the health care facility.

A Code Green may occur as a result of either an internal or external event. The cause of the threat may require immediate actions, such as a gas leak, explosion or rapidly spreading fire OR action may be required in the near future, such as a response to an approaching forest fire.

CODE YELLOW –Missing Patient/Resident/Client

A Code Yellow is the emergency code used to signify a missing patient or resident. If you think you have seen or identified the person from the description announced, contact the switchboard (Dial “0” on a house phone or 705-356-2265) and let them know. Please do not actively participate in the search, especially outside on the grounds. This may hinder the search.

CODE AMBER – Missing Infant/Child

Code Amber (or Amber Alert) is the emergency code used to signify a missing infant/child.  If you think you have seen or identified the child from the description announced, contact the switchboard (Dial “0” on a house phone or 705-356-2265) and let them know.  Please do not actively participate in the search. The building may be locked down in the event of a Code Amber.

CODE ORANGE - Disaster or Chemical. Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN)

A Code Orange may be called in the event the hospital’s human or physical resources are overwhelmed (Code Orange – Disaster) or if an event involves a chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear agent (Code Orange - CBRN). External disasters may include natural disasters, fires and explosions, toxic spills or motor vehicle accidents.

CODE RED - Fire

If the fire alarm sounds, visitors are to stop what they are doing, stay in the area you are in and listen for an announcement for further instructions.  If the fire is in your area, exit using the nearest safe exit and stay on the grounds to be accounted for later. Do not proceed through the hospital. In an effort to contain a potential fire, most doors will close automatically as the alarm sounds, but they can be pushed open to get through them.

CODE WHITE - Violent Person

This emergency code is used to signify that the behavior of an individual is deemed to be out of control or at risk of becoming out of control. The NSHN is committed to providing a safe and secure work environment, free from violence, threats, intimidation and harassment. Threats, threatening behavior or acts of violence against employees, affiliates, clients, visitors, residents or other individuals on NSHN properties will not be tolerated.

It is recognized that some behaviors on the part of patients are symptomatic of their illness and requires a response that balances the need for control and protection with an appropriate therapeutic response.  Dial “0” on a house phone (or 705-356-2265) and advise the Switchboard Operator you have a Code White situation, provide the location of the incident (e.g. LTC, family suite) and confirm if you have contacted the police.  If you are in the immediate area of a Code White, staff will direct you on what to do. Do not try to help.  If you are not in the immediate area, stay away.

CODE PURPLE - Hostage Situation

A Code Purple is called in the event of a situation where any person is forcibly confined or held against their will, with the threat of a weapon or threat of violence.

 What to do if you witness a hostage taking situation or use of a weapon:

 1.  Dial 9-1-1 immediately if you witness a hostage taking situation or use of a weapon at the NSHN and provide the operator with the following information:

Location of hostage taking

Visible signs or mention of weapons

Number and description of hostages

Number and description of hostage takers

Whether or not hostage takers are contained within a specific room or area

2.  If there is any sign of actual danger or violence, DO NOT attempt any action. Visitors are NOT to place themselves at risk.

3. Dial “0” and advise the Switchboard Operator you have a Code Purple Situation, provide the location of the incident (e.g. LTC, family suite) and confirm if you have contacted the police.

4. Wait for NSHN staff  nd police to arrive.

5. Do not initiate conversation with the hostage taker(s) but do answer if spoken to.

6. Note any demands or actions.

If you are not involved in the incident

1.      If you are in the area of the hostage taking, leave the area if it is safe to do so.

2.      If you are in a different part of the building, stay away from the area of the hostage taking.

3.      Do not contact persons outside of the hospital. This may result in many unwanted phone calls and visitors to the site.

CODE BROWN - Chemical Spill

A Code Brown is the emergency code used to signify a chemical spill or toxic fumes within the building or on the grounds. If a Code Brown is paged, listen to the instructions given or contact your NSHN contact. If you have the spill/leak:

For small spills where the contents are identifiable and pose no threat of irritation to skin, eyes or lungs, and are easily cleaned up, do NOT call a Code Brown

Housekeeping can be requested to assist with the cleanup if available.

Large spills that require special clean-up procedures or is unidentifiable and may be hazardous should be reported to your NSHN contact immediately.

Stay away from/leave any area where there may be a hazard (e.g. chemical, flammability or explosive) and alert others

CODE SILVER – Person with a Weapon

A Code Silver is the emergency code used to signify a person with a weapon. If you see someone with a weapon, dial 9-1-1 immediately provide the operator with the following information:

Location of person(s) with the weapon(s)

Description of the person(s) and the weapon(s).

If a Code Silver is announced determine the most reasonable way to protect yourself by either:

Evacuate if you are close to an exit and you can get there safely without attracting attention, leaving your belongings, OR

If you cannot evacuate, HIDE. Go into a room or other area out of the assailants view, lock/barricade the doors, shut off the lights, silence cell phones, take cover and remain low to the ground. Do not come out until OPP advise you to do so.

CODE BLACK - Bomb Threat

A Code Black is the emergency code used to signify a bomb threat. If you hear an announcement of a Code Black, leave the building. If you see a suspicious item, DO NOT touch it. Inform a staff member.

CODE GREY – Infrastructure Loss or External  Air Exclusion

A Code Grey – Infrastructure Loss is the emergency code used to signify a significant infrastructure loss to the extent that it interrupts day-to-day operations and negatively affects patient care. For example loss of water, power, telephone or computer systems. As a visitor, if a Code Grey - Infrastructure Loss is announced, stand-by and wait for further instructions.

A Code Grey- External Air Exclusion is the emergency code used after determining that the outside air is a danger to the people within the building. For example a large smoky fire or toxic chemicals. As a visitor, if a Code Grey – External Air Exclusion is called, remain calm and wait for further instructions. All exit doors will be sealed/locked down except for the main entrance and ventilation systems will be shut down to minimize air infiltration.

CODE BLUE or PINK - Medical Emergency/Cardiac Arrest

A Code Blue is the emergency code used to signify a medical emergency/cardiac arrest of an adult outside of the patient care areas. Code Pink is used to signify a medical emergency/cardiac arrest of a child/infant outside of the patient care areas.

The Code Blue/Pink Team will bring the crash cart to the scene and take charge. If you are in an area that has a Code Blue/Pink emergency, stay out of the way.