Emergency Action Plan

Introduction. 1
A.    Foundational Precepts. 2
B.    Building Evacuation Procedures. 4
C.    Shelter-In-Place Procedures. 5
D.    Medical Emergency Procedures 7
E.    Violent / Armed Intruder Procedures. 9
F.    Ground Floor Site Map. 10


  1. The purpose of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the First Presbyterian Church of Mabank, Texas is to provide general guidelines to be followed during various situations.  The ultimate goal is to provide a safe church campus for our members and guests, thereby minimizing the risk of injuries and property damage/loss.  In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the Plan, it is worded as briefly and as simply as possible.


  1. There are a wide range of potential situations, each with its own myriad of potential circumstances.  The basic responses to all of them can essentially be narrowed to two reactions – “Stay In” or “Get Out”.


  1. If a situation of any nature would ever occur, it is unrealistic to suppose that this Plan would be retrieved and read for instructions.  Therefore, it is important that the protocols and responsibilities contained herein are easily committed to memory.  The various responses to the situations are based on the most natural and/or “common sense” actions as gathered from a polling of a group of members in discussion of these situations.


  1. The following are included in this Plan:

  1. Foundational Precepts

  2. Building Evacuation Procedures

  3.  Shelter-In Place Procedures

  4. Medical Emergency Procedures

  5. Violent/Armed Intruder Procedures

  6. Ground Floor Site Map

     A.Foundational Precepts

Each component of this Plan is contingent upon the following precepts, which should be adhered to and followed at all times.As this Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Session, any variation(s) must be approved by the Session (or the Pastor – if timing is critical).


  1. Emergency Services

    1. The activation of the Kaufman County Emergency Services should never be delayed.  This Plan is a guidance/preparatory tool only for our Congregation.  In the event of any crisis or situation of an emergency nature, it is imperative that the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Dispatch be called at 972-932-9799 to mobilize fire, medical or police response 

  2. Accountability/Stewardship

    1. Anytime the Church facilities are open or in use, at least one church member or staff member responsible to the Session shall be on the premises for the duration of the event and any associated clean-up activities. 


  1. Acting as a host during any non-church related events, (e.g. rental of church for non-member weddings, etc.), he/she will maintain safety and security of those guests as well as Church property and ensure that all activities are conducted with respect to God and the precepts of His house of worship.


  1. The responsibility of this person shall include a basic knowledge of the Book of Order (PCUSA), this EAP, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the operation of Church equipment, lighting, HVAC and the proper procedures for the opening and securing of the facilities.


  1. Situation/Crisis Coordination

    1. The USHERS are the most logical persons to coordinate emergency procedures during Church functions.  Therefore, a “Lead” (#1) Usher will be designated in advance for each service, as reflected by the Listing of Ushers on the Web Page and as discussed by the Usher Coordinator of the Worship Committee.


  1. There will also be designated Ushers #2, #3 and #4.  The code for identification will simply be the order in which they are listed in the Service Bulletin, as taken from the Web Page or as directed by the Usher Coordinator. 


  1. The Lead Usher shall serve as the Coordinator in the event of any situation/crisis.  The other three Ushers will have responsibilities as noted further in this Plan.


4.Leadership Responsibilities

  1. For any function using the Church facilities, there will be a person in a leadership capacity, which will include staff members, Session Members, Trustees, elders, ushers, teachers, event sponsors, etc. Those persons in a potential leadership role must be educated regarding this EAP.


  1. In the event of a situation/crisis, the person in the leadership role shall have the responsibility of knowing the following:


  1. When and how to activate the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Services responses to the Church

  2. The locations of fire alarm manual pull stations; how and when to use them

  3. How to correctly and expeditiously respond to fire warning alarm.

  4. Facility lock-down/shelter in place procedures.

  5. When and how to order and execute the successful evacuation of the building

  6. Location of and how to operate the fire suppression equipment.

5.Congregation / Guests

  1. The following are critical elements of the Plan to be observed by the Congregation and to have the Congregation assist our Guests in the event of any situation;


  1. All persons are to obey the Ushers

  2. Assist persons that are in obvious need of special assistance, special needs or as directed to do so by the Ushers.

  3. Remain calm and attentive at all times, helping others to do the same.

  4. Do not leave the building without making certain that you have notified an Usher you are doing so, of your free will.  If unable to notify an Usher, let as many people around you know that you are leaving, so that you can be accounted for when the need arises.

  5. Be attentive to the situation and silently pray as you await further instructions.


  1. Building Evacuation Procedures  “…. they are to flee to a place I will designate”[Exodus 21:13]


1.The building shall be evacuated upon the activation of the audible/visible fire alarm, or by verbal directions from the Ushers, event leadership or emergency response personnel.

2.For your own safety, YOU MUST EVACUATE when directed to do so.  It is expected that we shall all take care of our brothers and sisters in faith and assist those that may need assistance.

3.In the event of the necessity to evacuate, please remember;


i)Remain calm and attentive to the directions given; proceed quickly but in an orderly manner

ii)Take ONLY essential personal items with you.

iii)Shut all doors behind you.

iv)Once out of the building, meet in the parking lot on the south side of West Vernon Street; sign legend ASSEMBLY AREA. 

v)Give way to all emergency response personnel.

vi)Do not leave until you have been accounted for.

vii)Be attentive to and obey instructions of law enforcement/emergency response personnel.


  1. Shelter-In-Place Procedures  “Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is” – 1st Corinthians 7:26


  1. Weather

The City of Mabank Police Department manages and operates the Emergency Warning System; the decision of which to activate is made by close communication of the tri-counties Sheriff’s Departments.  This will most likely be what alerts the Church of any imminent threat of tornado or other severe weather.  It is of utmost importance to get people AWAY FROM WINDOWS and the outer building walls.  Please see the Ground Floor Site Map for building layout and details.

Therefore, when the siren is heard, the following procedures should be implemented without delay;


  1. During Service – See B.3; Foundational Precepts, Situation/Crisis Coordination


  1. The Lead (#1) Usher shall facilitate the calm and orderly evacuation of the Sanctuary through the Casket Door on the Liturgist Lectern side of the Sanctuary.  In the case of the need to Shelter in Place, coordinate the  movement of all congregants from the Sanctuary to the Narthex, beginning with the back of the Sanctuary.  If required, the Storage Rooms to either side of the Narthex can be used for shelter.  The Lead Usher shall personally assist disabled persons, or temporarily assign someone to do so.  The steel doors to the Sanctuary shall then be closed when the Sanctuary is empty. If the building is hit before this process is complete, the Ushers should direct individuals to get on the floor, under the pews until further notice is given.  If absent, then Usher #3 is to be the Lead Usher; see below.

  2. Usher #2 is responsible for checking and clearing the choir room, Church parlor and Offices, for evacuation to the Assembly Area.  In the event that Shelter in Place is necessary, then use the vestibules of the choir room/parlor/Pastor’s Office for Shelter in Place.   Once all of these rooms are cleared and folks are accounted for, close all four doors. Usher 2 will be responsible for accounting for and clearing these persons.

  3. Usher # 3 is responsible for checking and evacuating the second floor, escorting persons downstairs and out of the building for evacuation.  In the event that Shelter in Place is necessary, lead persons into the New Restrooms outside Fellowship Hall.  When this is complete, the restroom doors are to be secured. Usher 3 will be responsible for accounting for and clearing these persons. If the building is struck before this is possible, use the upstairs restrooms and shut the doors. Usher #3 is to be Lead Usher in the event Usher #1 is absent or if the role of Usher #1 is being accommodated by a substitute.

  4. Usher # 4 is responsible for checking and clearing the Fellowship Hall, the Nursery and the downstairs Sunday School / Busy Bees Rooms.  Persons should be escorted out of the building to the Assembly Area for any evacuation.  In the event that Shelter in Place is necessary, the persons shall seek refuge in the New Restrooms, outside the Fellowship Hall, Office Workroom, Narthex or Vestibule to the Choir Room/Parlor/Pastor’s Office, depending on their location at the time of the alert.  Usher 4 will be responsible for accounting for and clearing these persons.


  1. During Non-Service Times

    1. During the week or when the Church is not conducting a Service or Special Event, the staff, guests and any other persons in/at the facility when an alert is sounded should seek refuge in New Restrooms (outside the Fellowship Hall),  Narthex or Vestibule to the Choir Room/Parlor/Pastor’s Office as described above and as shown on the Ground Floor Site Map.


  1. Civil Disturbance

    1. In the event of a civil disturbance when an event is taking place at the Church, the leader of the event, along with other leadership persons may institute a lock-down of the building.  Persons in the building should take refuge in the Narthex or Vestibule to the Choir Room/Parlor/Pastor’s Office to stay away from any windows


  1. This should be done in consultation with law enforcement or military personnel, depending on the circumstances.



D.Medical Emergency Procedures


  1. Identification of Emergency Responders and Response Notification

    1. Activate Kaufman County Emergency Services;  972-932-9799

      1. Early activation of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a critical factor affecting patient outcomes.  This is especially true in the case of cardiac and stroke-related emergencies.  The policy of our Church is that EMS should be activated as soon as a medical crisis is identified or made known. 


  1. The Lead Usher is responsible for making the call or assisting someone to do so.  It is common for persons in crisis to insist that they are okay, and do not want the ambulance/EMS personnel contacted.  The individual should be informed that it is a Church policy to notify EMS and that they can refuse treatment and transport after EMS is on the scene.  This is a very important policy, designed with the patients’ best interest in mind, as well as elimination of liability on the part of the Church, to say nothing of the guilt we would feel if we had not followed this policy and an adverse event occurred.


  1. Notification of Faith Community Nurses

    1. The Ushers should be familiar with the names of the Faith Community Nurses, so they might be identified and called upon during a medical emergency.


  1. While this should not delay activation of EMS, these specialty trained Church members can provide support and assume care of the patient until EMS arrives. The Faith Community Nurses are all Registered Nurses who have received additional training for ministering to faith communities such as ours.


  1. The Ushers and other leadership persons of the Church should be attentive and shall provide whatever support or supplies that the Faith Community Nurses may request.


  1. Other Congregants / Good Samaritans

    1. In addition to the above, or if no Faith Community Nurses are available, the Ushers may need to call for anyone on the building with medical training for assistance.  Once identified, they may assist or assume care of the patient (as appropriate for their level of knowledge or skills) until EMS arrives on scene. 


  1. Any “bystanders” or other congregants should remain calm, quiet and pray for the patient and care-givers.  The patient should have as much privacy as possible, with the least amount of people surrounding and looking at them as possible.


  1. The Ushers shall be attentive to the needs of the care-giver and shall be ready to support the needs of the situation.


  1.  Emergency Medical Equipment

    1. Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

      1. The AED is located in the custodial closet in the New Narthex.


  1. The AED is a life-saving tool which should only be operated by someone who has been trained.  The Faith Community Nurses are all trained, as well as a few other members and staff.  The Faith Community Nurses are responsible for routinely checking the AED.


  1. First Aid Kits

    1. First Aid supplies are contained in the navy blue bags found in;

      1. Custodial closet in the New Narthex

      2. In the Fellowship Hall kitchen above the microwave

      3. In the Bride’s Room (the old Choir Room) under the sink.


  1. In addition to these locations, a few medical supplies (Band-Aids, etc.) are kept in the Secretary’s Office.


  1. Wheelchairs / Walkers

    1. A wheelchair (given in memory of Leon Groom) is kept in the custodial closet with the AED and First Aid supplies.


  1. There are walkers available in the following locations in the building;

    1. Worship Committee closet in the Narthex

    2. Busy Bees closet

    3. Brides Room


  1. Standards of Care / Protocols

    1. The Policy of the Church is that nationally accepted standards of care should be followed when any aid is rendered.  Specifically, the principles and standards as published by the American Heart Association, American Trauma Society and the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA).


  1. Individuals acting in good faith to render medical aid are covered under the Good Samaritan Act thus free from potential liability resulting from their reasonable care efforts.


E.Violent / Armed Intruder Procedures

In the event of a situation where some intruder enters our facilities with unknown intent, this individual(s) shall not be detained nor confronted.  They should be greeted with compassion and with caution. No one at the Church is expected to physically defend our building or our faith.  We will be compliant, to most ends, to the requests made by these intruders.

1.If you witness, or have reason to believe, an intruder is on the campus, run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can, to a position where you can use a cell phone to contact (972)-932-9799.


  1. If you are in the Sanctuary or Fellowship Hall, close the doors, turn off the lights and get everyone together, away from the windows and doors.  The Ushers/Session Members/Trustees should use hand signals to quietly and quickly move persons together.  Stay calm and quiet.

3.If you are in the presence of the intruder, do not look them in the eyes, obey all of the commands given by them, try to remain calm; do not appear to pose a challenge to them.  Act in a submissive manner.


4.The building shall be evacuated upon the activation of the audible/visible fire alarm, or by verbal directions from the Ushers, event leadership or emergency response personnel.

5.For your own safety, YOU MUST EVACUATE when directed to do so.  It is expected that we shall all take care of our brothers and sisters in faith and assist those that may need assistance.


  1. When you leave the building, assemble in the south side parking lot, across West Mount Vernon Street.  Keep the streets, parking areas, walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.


  1. When the police arrive, obey all their commands and directions.  It is not unexpected that some of the congregation could be hand-cuffed until such time as the intruder is identified and taken control of by the police.  If you are asked to raise your hands, please understand that this is being done for safety reasons and that further instructions for action will be following from the police.


F.Ground Floor Site Map









First Presbyterian Church Mabank
Emergency Action Plan









(05/19/2019 approved by Session)


Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Mabank, Texas