Public Safety & U — February

New Drexel University Public Safety & U image.

Do the winter months have you channeling your inner chef? On this National Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 6–12), learn how to flex your culinary muscles safely and avoid burns in the kitchen with tips from the Department of Food & Hospitality Management and the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Plus: an explainer about the recent rise of carjackings in Philadelphia, an introduction to the Drexel University Emergency Medical Services (Drexel EMS) chief, and a call for donations to help families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. 

Your Burning Questions About Burns, Answered

Chef pours oil into pan with flame in it.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health defines a burn as: 1) a thermal injury from exposure to intense heat; 2) an injury from electrical shock or lightning strike; and/or 3) a skin injury from chemical exposure. Drexel Director of Fire and Emergency Services David Hollinger says the Drexel community members most vulnerable to burn injuries are those who work with or are exposed to heating, open flames, or electrical or chemical hazards; for example, students and faculty in lab settings, anyone cooking in a commercial or residential setting, and staff members working with heat or open flames, chemical products or electrical currents.

Rosemary Trout, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Food & Hospitality Management, provided DPS with some kitchen precautions to help keep Dragons safe:

  • Bodies and cooking areas should be clutter-free. Have your hair tucked in a cap or pulled back, and remove all jewelry, especially dangling bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
  • Keep your workspace free of obstacles so that you don’t have to reach over open flames or hot oil.
  • If you don’t have access to a culinary uniform, aprons are highly recommended, as they can be easily removed in the event of exposure to fire.
  • As bakers and pastry enthusiasts know, the smell of hot caramelized sugar is decadent, but Professor Trout warns that at temperatures of over 300 degrees, contact to the skin could be critical. She suggests keeping a bowl with ice water nearby to treat any immediate burns when handling such ingredients.
  • If cooking oil or grease becomes combustible, do not put water on the flame; cover it immediately and contact emergency services (DPS or 911).

If you are injured by burns on campus, notify Public Safety at 215.895.2222 right away. This one call will bring all the internal and external resources needed to provide you the help you need. 

Personal Security: What You Should Know

The number of carjackings has been increasing throughout the city at alarming rates. Please review the graphic below for need-to-know information on this issue, including safety tips and the riskiest areas and situations.

Additionally, Public Safety would like to remind the University community of the following precautions for home security:

  • Remember to lock your door both when leaving and returning to your residence; make sure secondary locks or deadbolts are in place.
  • Do not leave your windows open or unlocked unattended.
  • When exiting or returning home, please be aware of your surroundings. Avoid cell phone use or other distractions as you handle keys or locks.

For any emergencies or concerns related to carjacking, burglary or home invasion, please call Public Safety at 215.895.2222 if you are on campus, or 911 for off-campus emergencies.

Get to Know DPS: EMS Chief and Drexel Senior Jacob Williamson

Jake Williamson in EMS uniform.

Currently in his fifth year at Drexel studying Computer Science (BS) and Information Systems (MS), Jacob first obtained his EMT certification in New Jersey at the age of 16, volunteering for the Hopewell Fire Department. Throughout his time with Drexel EMS, he has served as the compliance officer, CPR course coordinator, lieutenant and chief. For his co-ops, he worked as a software developer in the IT services, financial services, and healthcare insurance industries. His post-graduation goal is to find a job developing large information systems.

When asked his favorite part about his job with Drexel EMS, Jacob says that he loves being able to work with so many people on different teams. Each team has a unique workflow, but all share similar goals and missions. Collaborating among teams to accomplish concrete goals, such as purchasing and licensing a new emergency vehicle, proves to be an incredibly empowering and rewarding experience.

Jake’s favorite place on campus is Drexel Park. It has a great view of the skyline, and it's a fantastic place for a picnic with friends. In his free time, he likes to read and work on his personal software development projects. Jake’s message to the community is: “Drexel EMS always strives to provide the highest standard of care to the Drexel student body and surrounding community. There is no emergency too big or too small for us. If you ever feel that you need medical attention, call 215.895.2222.”

DPS thanks Jacob and the entire EMS team for their partnership and collaboration!

Community Commitments

Photo of apples, with centered apple with a heart peeled into it.

Healthy Hearts for Families

DPS is kicking off their annual “Healthy Hearts for the Families” campaign to help deliver a little love to all the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their loved ones are recovering at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Collection boxes will be located at Police Headquarters, 3219 Arch St., and the DPS offices at 3201 Arch, Suite 350. Questions on donations can be directed to Linda Moran at

Donations will be accepted until Feb. 23, of the following requested healthy items:

  • individually wrapped or single-serve savory snacks (popcorn, cookies, trail mix, pita chips)
  • single-serve specialty drinks (protein/meal replacements, low-sugar juice boxes, almond milk)
  • individual or single-serve cereal cups
  • sugar-free and gluten-free food
  • canned tuna

Warm Up With Cocoa With Cops

Drexel community members and DPS enjoying last month’s Cocoa With Cops.

The next two iterations of Cocoa With Cops, Drexel Police’s monthly, cozy meet-and-greets, are on Feb. 16 from 2–3:30 p.m. and March 9 from 5–6:30 p.m. Stop by the southeast corner of 33rd and Arch streets (near the entrance to Buckley Field) to say hi!

Be Prepared, Not Scared, With “Your Safety Is Our Goal”

Join the Public Safety team for “Your Safety Is Our Goal,” an engaging community training on situational preparedness, happening monthly on Zoom. The next sessions are on Feb. 17 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. You can sign up for one of these scheduled events. If you have a community or group you would like DPS to present to, or would like to propose an alternate presentation time, please contact Officer Tom Cirone at or Officer Kim McClay at See you there!

DUPD Is Tabling at Dragons Basketball Games

Drexel Police will be at select men’s and women’s basketball games this season, near the student section. Please stop by to say hello; they’d love to meet you, offer resources, help you register your property, or answer any other questions!

Important Reminders

We’re Here for You When You Need Us

Please call 215.895.2222 immediately if you experience or witness a crime. The DPS Communications Center is staffed 24/7 to serve you, whether you choose to remain anonymous when making a report. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources. 

Emergency Numbers
215.895.2222 or 911
TTY: 215.571.4141

Walking Escorts

To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit