LOGAN, Utah, Feb. 20, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The installation of new emergency-emergency buttons at Utah State University on Wednesday triggered an accidental alert that sparked widespread alarm.
“Code Blue,” said the tweet that went out at 3:01 p.m. to some or all of USU’s nearly 28,000 students and its 16,800 Twitter followers.
“We’ve received reports of an armed aggressor on the USU Logan campus. Run, hide or fight. Police responding. More to come.”
More information did come, posted nine minutes later:
“All Clear,” said the update, posted at 3:10 p.m. and again at 3:11.
“During testing of the Code Blue system, an alert was accidentally sent. Disregard previous message. Resume normal activities.”
Response posts flooded in:
- “Someone getting fired today.”
- “More like severely reprimanded/possibly yelled at. Which will cause the work place to become an unsafe environment, and get the one who yelled, yelled at.”
- “Hey thanks for the anxiety attack!! I really enjoyed not being able to breathe for 5 minutes!!”
- “Well at least we know Code Blue is working I guess.”
- “USU be cryin’ wolf on us, but in this story WE’RE THE SHEEP.
- “You can’t just f*cking say testing? Good god that was scary.”
- “Y’all stupid.”
- “Are you fucking kidding me?”
- “Parking needs to be reimbursed for all the people who had to exit and come back. Parking shouldn’t have been charged for people trying to leave for fear of our lives.”
- “Are you kidding me? They were actually charging for parking?”
- “Evacuation procedures need to be re-evaluated after this. Myself and a handful of students were told they couldn’t stay inside and were exposed outside. We didn’t know the alert was false at the time and it was extremely terrifying.”
- “Wait did they like kick you out of the building?”
- “The fact that multiple classes continued because of lack of awareness or disregard of the alert is most concerning to me….”
- “Gave me a heart attack.”
- “17 minutes. IT TOOK 17 MINUTES to send out a ‘false alarm.’ That’s not ‘within minutes,’ but try again. Thanks for causing unnecessary panic. Let’s not have this happen again.”
The 17 minutes later was when USU sent out a full news release.
“During installation of new emergency alert buttons today, a message about an armed aggressor was accidentally sent to the USU Logan campus,” the USU statement says. “An all-clear alert was sent out within minutes to let the campus know it was a false alarm.
“USU recently purchased a new system to send out emergency notifications rapidly in the event of a campus emergency such as an armed aggressor. The system includes buttons attached to the wall at USU Public Safety dispatch. In a real emergency, a message could be sent quickly when someone calls 911.
“In that case, campus community members who have signed up for Code Blue will receive a Code Blue alert with directions to RUN, HIDE, FIGHT. Learn more about what to do in the event of an armed aggressor attack at www.runhidefight.usu.edu. Please also take some time to learn about how to prepare ahead of time for an armed aggressor situation.”
Gephardt Daily will have updates on this story as information is released.