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The emergency escape protocol was a Starfleet procedure whereby a docked ship was disengaged from any docking clamps and full impulse was immediately engaged. The protocol was usually initiated when a space station was in imminent danger of being destroyed.
In 2371, Chief Miles O'Brien experienced a series of timeshifts into the future, one of which showed the destruction of Deep Space 9. Before the station was destroyed, his future self was at the helm of a Danube-class runabout and initiated the emergency escape protocol, thereby escaping the blast radius. (DS9: "Visionary")