McCormack Building Occupant Emergency Plan

Learn about the types of emergencies and response plans. Find the emergency contacts for the McCormack Building.

Emergency Contacts

Emergency Contacts



Boston Police, Fire, EMS


Mass State Police, H-1

(617) 727-2917

DCAMM Control Center

(617) 727-1000


DCAMM Contact List




On-Site Security

(617) 727-1155 x21155

Security Operations Coordinator

(617) 991-6865

Deputy Chief of Security



Deputy Chief of Emergency Preparedness

(857) 330-8510


Chief of Security & Emergency Preparedness

(857) 214-1516

Assistant Facility Manager

(617) 955-6176

Facility Manager

(857) 283-1532

Senior Operations Manager

(857) 202-0818

Director of Property Operations

(781) 234-5714


The Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) is designed to provide building Occupants of DCAMM facilities with guidance during various emergencies. While it is impossible to predict all potential scenarios, the plan is intended to address a variety of incidents which building Occupants may experience.

All building Occupants play a role in maintaining a safe and secure environment. Therefore, it is important for all Occupants to review the OEP and become familiar with the response procedures in advance of an emergency. In some cases, Occupants may require individual plans which address mobility limitations or other unique circumstances, and Occupant agencies may establish their own emergency response procedures to meet the unique needs of their employees. Building Occupants and agencies are encouraged to use this plan as a guide to develop more detailed plans, as needed, to better prepare themselves and their colleagues in the event of an emergency.

The OEP is divided into two primary sections: Protective Actions and Emergency Procedures.

Protective Actions include:

  • Building Evacuation
  • Evacuation for Occupants with Disabilities or Limited Mobility
  • Assembly Locations
  • Shelter-in-Place
  • Suspicious Activity
  • Workplace Violence

Emergency Procedures include:

  • Smoke or Fire in the Building
  • Medical Emergency
  • Armed Intruder (Active Shooter) Disruptive Person
  • Bomb Threat
  • Suspicious Mail/ Package

Protective Actions

Building Evacuation

An evacuation of the building may be necessary under a number of circumstances. Evacuations may be initiated by one or more of the following notification methods:

  • Fire alarm activation, including an audible siren and flashing strobe light.
  • Public address system announcement.
  • Mass notification message (e.g., phone call, text message, e-mail).
  • Verbal directive from Emergency Responders.

Regardless of the reason for an evacuation, it is important for building Occupants to remain calm and follow the directions of Emergency Responders. When a building evacuation is initiated, Occupants should:

  • Follow the guidance and direction of Emergency Responders in the area.
  • Proceed to the nearest safe stairwell, exiting on the ground level. All ground level, exterior doors may be used in an emergency.
  • Leave personal belongings behind as you evacuate.

Taking items with you may unnecessarily delay your evacuation and put you and others at the risk of injury. Carrying items such as large bags may slow an evacuation or impede others or Emergency Responders. Items such as food or drink may also create unnecessary hazards in a stairwell if dropped or spilled. Take only the items necessary and immediately available to you (e.g., a coat if it is cold, a mobile device to communicate with family) leaving all other personal items behind.

  • Do not use elevators, unless instructed to do so by Emergency Responders.
  • Move away from the building and report to your designated assembly location.
  • Keep roadways clear and be aware of approaching emergency vehicles.

The paths routinely used to enter and exit the building may not be accessible under some emergency circumstances. Therefore, building Occupants should familiarize themselves with alternative stairwells and exits to ensure they can evacuate safely and quickly in an emergency.


Evacuation for Occupants with Disabilities or Limited Mobility

The intent of this plan is to provide the guidance necessary to assist building Occupants of all abilities to exit safely and quickly during an emergency given its current layout and condition. It is important for individuals who need assistance during an evacuation to make plans in advance of an emergency. Occupants should be aware of their limitations and work with their supervisors to develop emergency plans specific to their needs.

Each office or agency should consider the following:

  • Ensure that staff or visitors who have been identified as needing assistance during an evacuation have a customized plan that includes the assistance required.
  • Consider Occupants who may have temporary mobility such as a broken leg or illness.
  • Identify staff who would be willing to assist person(s) with disabilities or needing assistance.
  • Ensure Occupants who have self-identified as needing assistance can be accounted for during an emergency.


Evacuation Assistance Area

An Evacuation Assistance area has been identified for those needing assistance during an evacuation as a result of a smoke or fire condition in the building. If it is safe to do so, Occupants who cannot evacuate the building on their own should assemble on each floor in the designated area and await Emergency Rescuers. If Occupants cannot safely reach the assistance area, they should call 9 1 1 and provide their exact location within the building.

At the John W. McCormack Building, Evacuation Assistance areas can be found at the freight elevators on every floor. Security personnel will use the freight elevators to assist Occupants to the ground level to facilitate evacuation.

Occupants who are assisted via an Evacuation Assistance area will be met by building Security and the Fire Department in the main lobby to determine if further evacuation is necessary. In the event that the Fire Department determines that Occupants need to vacate the main lobby, arrangements will be made for the relocation of Occupants to a nearby location.



Unless directed by Emergency Responders, elevators are not to be utilized to evacuate the facility.


Assembly Locations

McCormack Building Evacuation Assembly Location

Assembly Locations are established to provide Occupants with a known location at which to gather outside of the impacted facility and a place to assist agencies in accounting for their employees.

Depending on the nature of the emergency, Assembly Locations are subject to change as a situation evolves, so it is important to follow the direction of Emergency Responders. In some cases, Occupants may make the individual decision that they do not feel safe or that the Assembly Location is not safe. In those cases, Occupants should make the best decision for their safety and proceed to a location where they can shelter-in-place or receive additional assistance. As soon as possible, Occupants seeking an alternate Location should contact a member of their Agency to account for their location and safety.

It is recommended that Occupants of the John W. McCormack Building assemble in the northeast corner of the Boston Common highlighted in the provided image. Occupants leaving the McCormack Building should proceed to Beacon Street via Bowdoin Street, and proceed to the Common via Beacon Street.

A representative of DCAMM will be present in this area of the Common to provide information to Occupants pertaining to the continued need to remain outside of the facility or to inform Occupants of a clearance

to reoccupy the building. In addition, mass notification resources may be used to provide updates to Occupants and send notifications regarding reoccupation of the building.



Due to their intimate knowledge of the building and its operations, Occupants are well suited to help identify suspicious activity within the facility, on its grounds, and in its immediate surroundings. Suspicious activity may include:

  • Taking photographs in a covert manner.
  • Taking photographs of unusual or nonsensical elements such as entrances, HVAC equipment, and security equipment.
  • Loitering with no apparent purpose.
  • Asking questions about building or security operations (e.g., number of security personnel).
  • Attempting to gain access to restricted areas.
  • Attempting to bypass security by entering exterior doors restricted to employees.
  • Leaving belongings unattended in a concealed fashion (e.g., backpack next to a trash receptable).
  • Infiltrating or attempting to infiltrate weapons or prohibited items (e.g., firearms, knives, ammunition, explosives).
  • Carrying contextually inappropriate belongings (e.g., unusual in size, quantity, or volume).
  • Wearing contextually inappropriate clothing (e.g., heavy winter coat in summer months)
  • Observing or recording emergency response.

In the event suspicious behavior is observed, Occupants should:

  1. Contact the on-site security team (absent on-site security, contact 9 1 1 ).
  2. Identify the specific location of the activity and describe the individual(s).
  3. Explain the nature of the behavior and why you believe it is suspicious.
  1. Provide your name and contact number for use should security personnel or law enforcement have any follow-up questions.


Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults directed towards persons in a work environment. Perpetrators of workplace violence can include co-workers, superiors, subordinates, contractors, vendors, visitors, and domestic partners/family members. In the event of an on-going or imminent attack, Occupants should immediately notify on-site security and/ or 9 1 1 .​​​​​​​

Pre-attack indicators may provide a warning to imminent danger. Pre-attack indicators include the following:

  • Change in posture (traditional fighting stance)
  • Preparatory signals (rolling sleeves, taking off coat, quickly standing up)
  • Scanning the environment (looking for possible escape, witnesses, weapons)
  • Change or slowing of the blinking rate
  • Assuming a flanking position
  • Telegraphed intentions (swinging or cocked arm)
  • Target glancing or fixation on target.
  • Exaggerated movements.
  • Change in verbalization (suddenly talking a lot more or much less).
  • Tightening of the body and/ or fists.
  • Attempts to distract you or others.
  • Verbalizes intention to do harm.

While violent incidents can occur at any time, recognition of pre-attack behaviors could aid in disrupting a planned attack in the workplace. These behaviors include the following:

  • Development of a personal grievance
  • Contextually inappropriate and recent acquisition of weapons.
  • Contextually inappropriate and recent escalation in target practice and weapons training.
  • Contextually inappropriate and recent interest in explosives.
  • Contextually inappropriate and intense interest or fascination with previous shootings, mass attacks, or acts of violence.
  • Experience of a significant personal loss (whether real or perceived) in the weeks and/ or months leading up to the attack, such as a death, breakup, divorce, or loss of a job.

Additional warning signs may include the following:

  • Clear, direct threats or ultimatums.
  • Evidence of a violent plan.
  • Violating physical security protocols.
  • Wide or rapid mood swings and sustained agitation.

If Occupants observe any of the above indicators or have concerns regarding an interaction with a colleague or member of the general public, they should immediately contact their supervisor and/ or Human Resources Department.

Emergency Procedures

Smoke or Fire in the Building

In the event of smoke condition or fire in the building, it is necessary and safest for Occupants to evacuate. Occupants should:


    • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station (if the alarm has not yet sounded).
    • Follow the facility’s evacuation guidance (see below section on High-Rise Fire Evacuation procedures).
    • Leave personal belongings behind.
    • Close your office door behind you as you leave.
    • If there is smoke, stay low to the floor and move toward a safe area. Smoke will rise towards the ceiling.
    • Do not use elevators.
    • Take the stairs to the ground level and exit the building.
    • Move away from the building and report to your appropriate Assembly Location (see page 8).
    • Keep roadways clear and be aware of approaching emergency vehicles.
    • Notify Emergency Responders of anyone trapped or of any special conditions within the building.
    • Do not go back into the building for any reason until Emergency Responders deem it safe.

Building Occupants with disabilities or mobility-impaired personnel should report to the predesignated Evacuation Assistance Area (see page 7) and await assistance from Emergency Responders. Do not use the elevators in the event of smoke or fire in the building.


High-Rise Fire Evacuation

The John W. McCormack Building is classified as a High-Rise Building, and as such, is subject to unique procedures for evacuation during a fire alarm activation. High-Rise Building Fire Evacuation may only require impacted floors to vacate their floor during an active alarm. However, any Occupant may choose to evacuate the building completely if they believe that action is best for their personal safety.

In the event of a fire alarm activation, Occupants should:


  • Note the activation of the system. The activation of the system will prompt the following:
    • Four tones accompanied by strobing lights on all floors.
    • A recorded message will repeat three times to inform Occupants, first, that there is an emergency in the building, and second, that a follow up alarm will sound if your floor is impacted.
  • Note the activation of the building’s Evacuation Alarm:
    • If horns are heard, and strobe lights seen, on your floor, follow evacuation procedures and move at least three floors down within the building.
    • Once down at least three floors, stop and wait for further direction from building personnel or Emergency Responders. If horns and strobe lights are present, or become active, in your new location, follow the building’s evacuation guidance to exit the facility.
    • Note, floors that do not require any form of evacuation will hear no alarm nor will strobe lights be activated.
  • Full Evacuation Alarm:
    • If evacuation of all floors is needed, the horns and strobes will be active on all floors.
    • Follow the building’s evacuation guidance to exit the facility.


Medical Emergencies

The immediate actions taken in response to a medical emergency may save a life. Occupants should:

  • Remain calm and notify Emergency Responders via 9 1 1 and call on-site security.
  • Be prepared to provide detailed information over the phone, to include:
    • The room number/ specific location of the medical emergency.
    • Your name and phone number (in case the call is disconnected)
    • The nature of the medical emergency (e.g., allergic reaction, chest pain, etc.)
    • If the patient is conscious, alert, breathing, etc.
    • The age or approximate age of the patient.
    • If the patient has any preexisting medical conditions or is taking any medications.
  • To avoid further injury, never move a seriously injured person unless there is a life- threatening situation.
  • If you know how, and it is safe to do so, administer first aid and/ or CPR if appropriate.
  • If the patient is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the laceration or wound to help control blood loss.
  • Whenever possible, limit exposure to bodily fluids through the use of gloves or other barrier devices

Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are present in the building. Occupants should become familiar with their location and availability in the event of a medical emergency.

If Occupants call 9 1 1 from an office or cell phone, it is important to also notify on-site security. Security officers will respond to the location with additional medical emergency equipment and can assist Emergency Responders to expedite their response time.


Armed Intruder (Active Shooter)

An armed intruder is any individual who is actively using a weapon (e.g., a firearm, knife, blunt object) to cause serious bodily harm/ death or who is wielding a weapon threatening others. DCAMM relies on the Federally endorsed RUN – HIDE – FIGHT concept. In the event of an armed intruder incident, building Occupants should:

  • Evacuate the area/ building if it is safe to do so.
  • Hide and/ or barricade themselves sin a safe location if escape is not an option.
  • As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter.
  • When it is safe to do so, and you are no longer in danger, call 9 1 1 to report the incident.



Occupants that can evacuate safely should do so.

Occupants who are evacuating should:

  • Leave personal belongings behind. Taking items may unnecessarily delay your evacuation and put you, and others, at the risk of injury.
  • Use stairs. Avoid elevators.
  • Warn others of the danger and encourage them to evacuate.
  • Use ground level exits to leave the building and move far enough away to avoid further danger.
  • Keep roadways clear and be aware of approaching emergency vehicles.
  • Call 9 1 1 once you have safely evacuated the building.



If safe evacuation is not possible, Occupants should hide in a safe location with few or no windows and thick walls. Additional actions to consider include:


  • Notify those around you of the danger and encourage them to lock-down in the absence of a safe escape route.
  • Seek rooms with locking hardware or access control.
  • Lock and/ or barricade doors with heavy furniture.
  • Turn off lights, computer monitors, etc.
  • Silence all cell phones and mobile devices. Vibrate mode may still alert the intruder to your location.
  • Assess the environment for weapons of opportunity, if needed (e.g., fire extinguisher, chair, lamp, etc.).
  • Consider a plan to confront the intruder if entry into the space is forced.
  • Once locked, do not open the door for anyone until law enforcement makes entry.



When running or hiding is not an option, as a last resort, individuals who are confronted by the intruder and are in immediate danger should commit to trying to disrupt or incapacitate the intruder. Occupants should:

  • Use improvised weapons (e.g., fire extinguisher, chair, lamp, etc.).
  • Throw items at the intruder.
  • Overwhelm the intruder as a group.
  • Confront the intruder while distracted (e.g., reloading a firearm).

When contacting law enforcement to report an armed intruder incident, the information provided to the 9 1 1 operator is critical to ensuring law enforcement and other first responders can quickly confront the threat and coordinate medical care. If possible, Occupants should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Number of intruders.
  • Description of intruder(s).
  • Type of weapon used (e.g., handgun, rifle, knife, etc.)
  • Last known location of the intruder.
  • Items carried or worn by the intruder (e.g., backpack, ammunition, ballistic vest, etc.).
  • Number and location of anyone injured or wounded.

If Occupants should encounter law enforcement as they respond to an active shooter incident, they should do the following:

  • Remain calm.
  • Keep your hands empty and visible.
  • Avoid making quick movements.
  • Do not run toward or grab onto responding officers.

Follow all law enforcement instructions. You may be instructed to the floor or searched

Disruptive Person

Building Occupants may encounter an individual who has become angry or disruptive, whether in person, on the phone, or via electronic communications. In some cases, the individual may use inappropriate or threatening language; however, it is important to remain calm throughout the interaction to avoid escalating the situation. Building Occupants should consider the following before an incident occurs:


  • Consider the layout of the office space or the placement of furniture/ reception area to delineate public space from private space within the office.
  • If there are multiple rooms in the office space, secure adjoining rooms to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Plan for interactions in advance. Develop strategies for your unique office space, including means of egress and discretely calling for help (e.g., develop a code word or phrase that signals to co-workers that you need help).
  • Maintain emergency contact phone numbers for on-site security and the Massachusetts State Police at each desk/ office.

If building Occupants are confronted with a disruptive person within their office space, they should:

  • Remain calm and attempt to deescalate the situation.
  • Reassure the individual his/ her needs and/ or concerns are understood and taken seriously.
  • Ask the individual for contact information and inform them someone from the office will respond to the inquiry after they have had an opportunity to investigate the issue.
  • Report the interaction to your supervisor and on-site security after the individual has left the office.

If the disruptive person refuses to leave or becomes aggressive:

  • Create distance between them and yourself.
  • Attempt to exit the immediate area (e.g., you may state “the employee who can help with

that matter isn’t answering the phone. Let me see if she is available”).

  • Notify co-workers of the interaction.
  • Call on-site security and inform them of the interaction.


“Own the Door”

When evaluating office space and design, and during all interactions, it is important to maintain a clear path to an exit should you be confronted by a disruptive individual. Efforts should be made to prevent any individual from blocking your exit or impeding others from entering the space. Building Occupants should position themselves in a manner which allows egress from the office and does not limit their movements.


Bomb Threat

Bomb threats may be received in various forms of communication to include phone calls or e- mails. In the event a bomb threat is received or discovered, the Massachusetts State Police should be immediately notified by calling (617) 727-2917.

In the event a bomb threat is received over the phone, attempt to keep the caller on the line for as long as possible, asking specific questions regarding the threat that include the following:

  • When will the bomb explode?
  • Where is the bomb?
  • What does the bomb look like?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Who placed the bomb and why?
  • What is your name?

To assist in the investigation, it is important to make note of unique characteristics regarding the call, which may include the following:

  • The exact wording of the threat.
  • The caller’s voice:
    • Male or female caller?
    • Does the voice sound familiar?
    • Is the caller calm/ angry/ excited?
    • Does the caller speak with a stutter, lisp, or other unique characteristic?
    • Does the call have an accent?
    • Does the voice sound disguised?


  • Background noises:
    • Street noises including traffic, horns, sirens, etc.
    • Public address announcements, machinery, music, motors, or engines.
    • Other voices.

Emergency Responders will determine whether the building will be evacuated. Evacuating a floor or the building without knowing exactly where a device is located may be dangerous and Occupants should await instructions.

If an evacuation is ordered, building Occupants should:

  • Evacuate the building using the nearest safe exit.
  • Notify Emergency Responders if a suspicious object is discovered.
  • Refrain from using cell phones or other communication devices until away from the building.
  • Exit the building via the ground level and move away from the building to avoid interfering with Emergency Responders.


Suspicious Mail/ Package

The best protection when handling the mail is the knowledge of the items typically handled on a day-to-day basis and being able to determine what seems out of place. Building Occupants should be aware of any envelopes or packages that have suspicious characteristics, including:


  • No return address or unusual or unverifiable return address.
  • The postmark indicates a different location than the return address.
  • Restricted marking (e.g., Personal, Confidential, Do Not X-Ray, etc.).
  • Addressed to an incorrect title, or addressed to title only, without a name.
  • Misspelled or badly written words.
  • Unknown powder or suspicious substance.
  • Oily stains, discoloration, crystallization on wrappers.
  • Strange odor.
  • Excessive postage (e.g., multiple stamps).
  • Protruding wires.
  • Rigid or bulky.

Not all dangerous packages or envelopes look suspicious, and not all suspicious looking packages are dangerous. If you are concerned about an envelope or package for any reason:

  • Do not handle the envelope or package.
  • Isolate the item immediately.
  • Do not open, taste, or smell.
  • Call on-site security.

If you encounter an unknown substance, it is important to remain calm and:

  • Limit exposure to others in the area.
  • Turn off fans and air conditioners, if possible.
  • If the substance is a powder, brush it off your skin. Do not wash your hands to remove the substance. Water may initiate a reaction when combined with some chemicals.
  • To limit exposure to other building Occupants, remain inside your office space until Emergency Responders arrive and provide direction.

Additional Resources

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