Campus Safety

Sarah Heinz House is committed to taking proactive measures to protect the safety of all our members, volunteers, and staff. We have made preparations to deal effectively with emergency situations that could occur in or around the campus of Sarah Heinz House while programs are in session. While we hope that a natural disaster or other serious incident never occurs, our goal is to be as prepared as possible for any potential emergency. Our priority at all times is to protect all members, volunteers, and staff from harm. 

Sarah Heinz House and Heinz House Camp have crisis and safety plans. The plans are designed with the assistance of staff members, board members, as well as local law enforcement, emergency management, and public health officials. The plans, which are regularly reviewed and updated, include procedures to respond to a variety of crisis incidents. Sarah Heinz House personnel and members practice drills associated with specific emergencies on a regular basis. Please review our Emergency Response Protocol on the following pages for more details on specific responses.

Sarah Heinz House administrators consult with local, state and federal health, safety and emergency personnel to develop and maintain plans for coping with a variety of emergency situations. The organization’s Safety Committee, made up of Sarah Heinz House board, administrators and staff, meets throughout the year to discuss crisis response, management, prevention and communication.  

All SHH facilities have an emergency preparedness plan. The response to each situation will differ based on the specifics of that situation. Flexibility of the plan is key to the success of the response. In general, each plan involves the designation of a building-level safety team, development of Emergency Response Protocal procedure responsespreparation of a portable critical response kits that contain key information and supplies (“Go bags”); designation of one or more appropriate evacuation sites; provisions for training personnel and updating the plan; checklists for dealing with specific types of incidents; and resources for help before, during and after an event. All SHH plans have been reviewed within the last 12 months, and SHH crisis teams have received training.   


Pennsylvania Safe2Say Something reporting system is intended to facilitate the reporting of sensitive information to our administration including information regarding youth & teen safety, bullying, violence, or members who may be in some need of assistance.  This information may be shared with Sarah Heinz House staff such as Front Desk, Program Directors, Management, and other administrative personnel or other law enforcement depending on the situation. 

It is NOT an emergency hotline.  If you need immediate assistance, and/or are reporting an event or immediate threat to the Heinz House community, please call 911 to be connected with Pittsburgh Police. 


In the event of a Heinz House emergency that requires immediate attention and response from parent/guardians, parents/guardian will receive a phone call from SHH’s mass phone system (“LiveSafe”) to the primary phone number listed in the child’s membership file.   

The success of this system depends upon accurate information obtained from membership records.  If your information has changed, please contact Sarah Heinz House to update your contact information.  


The Emergency Response Protocol is a set of research-based actions/drills designed to prepare members, staff, and parents for emergency situations.  Sarah Heinz House’s protocol was updated for the 2019-2020 program year. 

For example, in the case of a possible Active Intruder, Sarah Heinz House implements the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT Training and Philosophy. Some of the specific actions/instructions detailed on the Emergency Response Protocol could be considered as subcomponents of the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT Philosophy.  

Throughout the program year, all members and staff participate in drills to educate on the 4 possible actions of the Emergency Response Protocol.  

Signs detailing the protocol are posted in program areas and common areas throughout our facility.  Our hope is that these signs serve as a visible reminder or instruction, not only for members and staff, but also for visitors, should they hear an announcement of a specific action or instruction in the protocol over the public announce (PA) system. 

One of our safety objectives is to practice the emergency response protocol drills throughout each program year and summer season in order to create a shared language among those in the Heinz House community.  In order for key stakeholders to be trained on our new Emergency Response Protocol, we work collaboratively with the Pittsburgh Police Department, and other emergency services providers to ensure we are following best practices in our facilities.