Many students on campus take the elevator in order to get to class, but sometimes an elevator can get stuck or break down.

In some instances, people start to panic and don’t know what to do. Most of the time people either call 911 or use the emergency phone that is placed in each elevator.

Though it is not a common thing that happens, it does happen and everyone needs to be briefed on what to do.

If stuck in an elevator, remain calm and call for help. Do not panic. (Jacqueline Ayala | The Poly Post)

On campus, it rarely happens. The manager of building and mechanical services, Jesse Ochoa, says each year, only about one to three repairs are made to the 70 available elevators around the campus.

“Our main issue related to failures generally are caused by misuse of the elevators thus opening the safety circuit,” Ochoa said. “Whenever occupants jump up and down or manipulate the doors, the safety mechanism recognizes the abnormal movement and stops the car.”

Ochoa recommends for anyone who gets trapped in an elevator, to follow these steps to ensure a safe rescue.

1. Remain calm.

Contact our campus police department via the phone in the elevator. Once the call has been made, an elevator technician will then be dispatched. The campus elevator contractor is on call for Cal Poly Pomona 24/7.

2. Wait until the proper authorities come and help you get out.

Third-year theatre student Brandon Sy said not a lot of people know what to do if stuck in an elevator. However, his first instinct would be to contact campus authorities or anyone that might be able to help him.

“Well, I would use the phone in the elevator, the emergency phone to call for help,” Sy said. “I don’t trust that many people know what to do if they were stuck in an elevator.”

Building and mechanical services are always making sure that everything is working properly.

When an elevator does breaks down, the entire campus community is notified to make sure that no one gets stuck when entering an elevator.

An event like this happened on Jan. 13, 2017.

There was an email sent to the entire campus community in which 37 elevator phones were not working. The elevators affected were taken out of service during the phone outage.

The broken-down elevators were put back into service on Jan. 17 and were monitored until emergency phone service were restored.

Students, faculty and staff were updated on news on the elevator situation. The campus was advised to avoid using the affected elevators before 7:30 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. and if someone needed to use one of them, campus police needed to be notified.

About a week later, an update was sent to the campus community to notify that the phones were fully operational.

Being stuck in an elevator can cause a variety of emotions, but the best thing to do is to remain calm.

Fourth-year English student Roxanne Snow said many people can have a different reaction to the situation, from hyperventilating to staying calm and call for help.

“I think the common reaction would be call 911 but it might not work if there’s no [cell] service or you don’t have a phone,” Snow said. “Personally, I’ve never been stuck in an elevator before but I would try and press the emergency button they have inside if it were ever to happen.”

Even though many people know what to do if stuck in an elevator, whenever someone is put in that situation, people panic and nothing good will come if one is not calm.

The best thing to do is to relax, take a deep breath and call for help. Someone will come to help you and everything will be okay.

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