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Palm Beach Environment of Care/Operating Procedures Back to Course Index



-The Safety Officer is also the Environmental Services Coordinator.

-Safety hazards are reported to Department Supervisors immediately, and a Maintenance Work Request is to be filled out for immediate resolution. All Maintenance requests are made by using maintenance forms and given to the resident managers.

-In an extreme emergency please contact the Safety Officer at: (561) 352-0924.

-Incident Reports are completed immediately when any accident, resulting in injury to patients, employees or visitors on Palm Beach Institute’s Property.

-Damaged or non-functioning equipment must be tagged for non-use. Maintenance Work Request need be sent requesting repairs and new appliance inspection.

-Locations of First Aid Kits:

Kitchen (2)
Exam Rooms (2)
BHT Office (1)
Vehicle (1)
Vehicle (1)
Vehicle (1)
Reception Copy Room (1)

-Blood Spill Kit is located in the Behavioral Health Tech Office and PBI vehicles.

-Chemical Spill Kit is located the Behavioral Health Tech Office and PBI vehicles.



-Four step procedure for fire emergency response, suing the following acronym:

R – RESCUE victims if safe to do so
A – ALARM contact the Nursing Station to sound alarm
C – CONTAIN the fire (close doors / windows)
E – EVACUATE the area

-The Palm Beach Institute uses the ABC fire extinguishers, which can be used on any type of fire.

-The four step procedure for the use of the fire extinguisher is the following acronym:

P – Pull pin
A – Aim at base of fire
S – Squeeze trigger 
S – Sweep

-Location of Fire Extinguishers:

  • Building 1017
  1. Inside the Dining Room
  2. Foyer above Kitchen and Dining room
  3. Inside the Kitchen
  4. Main Office
  5. Inside of the Laundry Room
  6. Cottages
  • Building 1021 (Detox Dorm)
  1. Entryway – East Door
  2. Office #1 – room E1
  3. Upstairs – Main Hall
  • Building 1021 (Woman’s Dorm)
  1. By the Front Door
  2. Between the Restrooms
  3. Upstairs by the Front Door
  • Building 310 (Administration Office)
  1. In Kitchen by the Back Door
  2. Upstairs – Main Hall
  3. Group Room – Back Door
  • Building 904 (Adolescent Unit)
  1. Dining Room
  2. Upstairs – Main Hall
  • One in each Palm Beach Institute vehicle (5)
  1. White Chevy Cargo Van (1)
  2. White Ford Cargo Van (1)
  3. Small Ford Passenger Van (3)

-One Fire Drill per Quarter

-There are Five (2) Fire Panels on Palm Beach Institute’s Property:

  • Building 1021
  1. Detox Room #1 – Above Door
  • Building 904
  1. Main Entrance
  2. Fire Pull Stations
  • Building 1017
  1. Upstairs – Exit Door
  2. Cottages – Front Door
  • Building 1021 (Detox Dorm)
  1. Front Door – East Exit
  2. Small Room – North Door
  3. Upstairs – North Exit Door
  • Building 1021 (Woman’s Dorm)
  1. Front Door
  2. Upstairs – Exit Door
  • Building 904 (Adolescent Unit)

Every Door

-Doorways are not to be obstructed at any time.

-Palm Beach Institute’s Fire Alarm System is connected to Florida State Fire and Security Systems.  Activating Pull stations will alert fire departments .             

-Identifying and Announcing Emergencies and Disasters:

 -Access the intercom system by dialing 5555 and state type of Disaster by Code and location of fire. Repeat the Code 3 times.

-Individuals being evacuated from the Dorm and Clinical Buildings are required to meet at the designated area:

-Adults- will meet in G Bld. Parking lot
-Adol.- will meet behind Bld. 314 parking lot

-Roll Call is to be taken and reported to the Program Coordinator.

-Staff evacuating all areas must report to BHT’s.

-During an actual Fire Emergency, propane and electrical Systems are to be shut down.  

-NO SMOKING on Palm Beach Institute property, except for patients, in a designated area,

-NO open flames allowed on Palm Beach Institute’s property.


-All Palm Beach Institute employees must display their identification badge while on property.

-All vendors, visitors and outsourced service providers must sign in at the Reception Desk upon arrival, as well as sign out when they are leaving the Palm Beach Institute, and they are required to wear an identification badge at all times.

-Keys will be issued to employees for access to buildings and/or offices.

-Security breaches must be reported to a Department Manager and the Safety Officer.

-NO weapons of any sort are allowed on property.

-Law Enforcements needs must be referred to the West Palm Beach Police Department by calling the office listed on the Emergency Guide posted by every phone on Palm Beach Institute’s Property.

-When making a 911 Emergency Call, you MUST STATE THAT ADDRESS AND EXACT LOCATION. A call must be made to inform our supervisor.


-Defined as any time that may be considered infectious, or any chemical with properties that may be flammable, combustible, damaging to skin or organs, or produce dangerous fumes.

-Material Safety Data Sheets must accompany all chemicals on Palm Beach Institute’s property and MSDS Books are located in the following places:

  • BHT office
  • New Kitchen
  • Housekeeping – Laundry Room
  • Maintenance Office

-Chemicals are to be approved by the Safety Committee, have an MSDS Sheet on record, and be properly labeled before use.

-The Safety Officer is responsible for maintaining the MSDS Books.

-Hazardous waste is stored in the Maintenance Office. A key is provided for Nursing and kept in the Nursing Station. Please inform maintenance and Housekeeping of waste.

-Spill Kits are located in the following places:

  • BHT Office &Nurses station
  • All 5 Palm Beach Institute Vehicles

-Red Bags are provided for infectious was disposal.

-Sharps Containers are sealed, red-bagged, and placed in the locked storage area.

-Linens soiled with blood or body fluids are placed in a red bag and placed in a locked box in the Maintenance Office.


-There is an Emergency Procedures Guide located in the BHT Office, Nurses Station, and the HR Department Office.

-Disaster Manuals are provided for:

  • BHT Office
  • Human Resources Department Office
  • Nurses Station

-Emergency water supply is provided through Cheney Brothers Inc., delivered within 24 hours.

-Report power failure immediately to Maintenance Staff using the number listed in the Emergency Procedure Guide and a call must be made to your supervisor.

-Fire Safety Checks must be conducted and documented every 30 minutes until power is restored.

-To announce emergency, appropriate:

RED  Internal Life and Safety Emergency:






-Other Internal Life and Safety Emergency

ORANGE — Community Life and Safety Emergency

YELLOW — Volatile/Violent Situation

Service I – Police Involvement

Service II – Internal Response

                   WHITE – Bomb Threat

                   GREEN – Evacuation

                   BLUE – Cardiac Arrest

                   ADAM-Child Abduction



-Defined as Propane Gas, Electricity, Water Telephones and Septic.

-All Utility service providers are listed in the Emergency Procedure Guide (BHT Office) and the Disaster Manual.

-Alternate forms of communication are cell phones, radios and cells.

-Battery lanterns and flash lights are available in the BHT Office & Nursing station.    

-Employees must know where power panels in all buildings are and know how to re-set the breakers.

-However, employees are instructed to call Maintenance prior to resetting.



Disaster Management Plan                                                                                                          


This Disaster Management Plan (DMP) will be the basis to establish policies and procedures which will assure maximum and efficient utilization of all resources on the Palm Beach Institute campus, minimize the loss of life and/or injury to the population, and protect and conserve resources and facilities of The Palm Beach Institute campus during large-scale emergencies considered to be of disaster magnitude.

For the purpose of this plan, “disaster” shall be defined as any condition- man-made or natural- resulting in significant disruption to the mission and normal operations of The Palm Beach Institute campus. The on-set of most disasters can be very rapid, allowing a minimum time for preparation. The scale of a “disaster” is determined by the potential for injuries or loss of life, damage to facilities, equipment or supplies, and the amount of external resources necessary for the Program to return to its normal mission.



New Hire Staff will have an opportunity to get hands on experience putting out a fire with a real fire extinguisher. This will help eliminate the fear and build confidence for emergencies.



RED:                    INTERNAL LIFE/SAFETY

Includes fire, explosion, or other elements resulting in patient or staff injury or death, structural damage to a building placing occupants at risk.


Including but not limited to flooding, chemical spill, severe storm conditions that cause community damage or injury to citizens, or accident involving multiple injuries/death within the community.


Can include hostage situation, armed intruder, rioting or other form of threat which may place facility occupants at risk for physical harm or death.


Can include a call-in by telephone from an outside source, stating an explosive device has been placed inside the building, or subject entering the facility with the same threat.


Used when a complete evacuation of all occupants of the building is needed to prevent exposure to harmful conditions.





Back injuries are one of the leading causes of time lost from work. Palm Beach Institute wishes to help to prevent back injuries by teaching the proper techniques for lifting. The following suggestions should help staff avoid a painful injury that could cost you and the company money, frustration, discomfort, and possible long term problems.

-Know your limitations:

  • Do Not lift an object that is obviously too heavy or awkward for you.
  • Do not lift and/or carry if you can roll, tip or push without strain.
  • Use a handcart for large or heavy boxes, equipment, or luggage.
  • Use a wheeled cart to reduce several trips to only one.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

Use a back brace (helps to align your body, not help pick up more weight!)

When lifting:

  • Tighten stomach muscles before lifting.
  • Bend your knees.
  • Place feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Lift with your legs instead of your back.
  • Hold object close to your body for balance.
  • Do not twist your body – keep the back straight if turning.
  • Use the same procedure for setting the load back down.



New Hire Staff will learn the locations of the following:

  • Fire Extinguishers
  • All Emergency Electrical Shut-offs
  • The two Emergency Gas Shut-offs
  • All Power Panels
  • The Fire Panel, and how to read it
  • The Fire Evacuation Meeting Area
  • Water Shut-off for the Main Buildings




To assist employees in responding to an active shooter event.


Active Shooter – An active shooter is defined as “… an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.


In order to preserve life and address the reality of an active shooter event, these guidelines have been established to guide our response to this event to maximize survivability. Most importantly, quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.


-The intent of most active shooters is to kill as many people as quickly as possible. Traditional law enforcement response will include the concept of “surround and contain” in order to minimize the number of victims. In order to save lives, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction will initiate an immediate response.

-Upon discovery of an active shooter situation, as soon as possible and when safe to do so, notify law enforcement (911) and provide overhead announcement of a Code Silver or “Active Shooter” and location.

The phone call to 911 (from the area where they are safely concealed) should provide the following information:

  • Description of suspect and possible location.
  • Number and types of weapons.
  • Suspect’s direction of travel.
  • Location and condition of any victims


-Safety & Security Officers and/or the Administrator/Person in Charge will meet and guide law enforcement officers if possible and as appropriate. The goal of law enforcement is to locate, isolate, and neutralize the shooter as quickly as possible to prevent additional deaths or injuries.



Evacuate – If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.

         Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

Hide out – If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely

  • Direct personnel into resident rooms or other adjacent rooms, close the door and attempt to barricade the door.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., locating into a resident bathroom and locking the door, stay as low to floor as possible and remain quiet and still)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

Lock the door

  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

Take action against the active shooter – As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to:

  • disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions.
    1. An “all clear” Code Silver will be announced overhead when the situation has been addressed and the scene is declared safe by law enforcement officials.
    2. Recovery:

Share Information with Employees – The health and wellbeing of our residents and employees is critical. As soon as possible after law enforcement has relinquished Command and Control of the scene, the facility administrator and social worker will develop information strategies to address resident, employee, and family questions related to the event.

Initially, the site of a violent incident will be secured as a crime scene. After the authorities have completed their investigation and have released the crime scene, management will need to have the facility appropriately cleaned and sanitized.   Cleanup for the safe removal of bio-hazardous substances including blood borne pathogens must take place, yet must be sensitive compassionate, and caring for the deceased.

Buffer those Affected from Post-Event Stresses – Effective coordination with the media and timely dissemination of information can help reduce media pressure on those who are the most vulnerable. Assistance with employee benefits and other administrative issues can reduce the burden on victims and families. The administrator or a corporate representative will be designated as the Public Information Officer who is authorized to speak on behalf of the facility to the media.

The Palm Beach County‘s Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy who would be available   to respond in the event of an incident. When an incident occurs, these emergency mental health consultants will as soon as possible, provide any necessary physical, emotional and psychological support.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program will be contacted to assist with Crisis Response Professionals:



Sgt. Kyle Haas
Victim Witness Coordinator
(561) 688-4162

Mary Lou Tringali
Victim-Witness Coordinator
(561) 688-3978


All employees involved in incident have to write an incident report and incident will be reported on IRAS as a Sentinel Event with DCF.