Fire drills prepare students

Staff editorial
October 10, 2007
Filed under Opinion

Some may think fire drills are rudimentary but the truth of the matter is that they are necessary. To be prepared one must simulate a possible disaster run through procedures, gather results and evaluate, much like a science experiment.
If you haven’t heard, Bakersfield College, in light of what happened last April at Virginia Tech, has begun implementing fire drills on campus. BC had its first on Sept. 24.
We all recall elementary school fire drills, gathering by class in specified areas around campus, taking role call, being excited to not be in class and then getting the OK to go back to class.?
However, on the college level, students who are in class really want and need to focus in.
Thus, if someone or something is going to interrupt class, it should be for a good reason.
These fire drills that will be conducted every month by building are pertinent, not only for students, but also for the faculty and staff that become emergency workers as soon as an emergency occurs. If there are no simulations, than the school will never really be sure if their plans will actually work in the wake of a disaster. If there were an occurrence similar to Virginia Tech, we would like our faculty and staff to know what to do.
Some might think that if they want to prepare us for the “worst case scenario,” like BC President William Andrews said in April, perhaps administrators should conduct school-wide bomb threat and fire drills.
We as a school must take into account how disruptive that would be to the school at large. By doing these drills building by building, we are learning to deal with possible emergencies.
Fire drills are not unheard of on college campuses. They are actually an important part of safety and security. We should appreciate the fact that BC administrators are at least making it evident that emergency preparedness is important to them. They could just focus on the many other aspects of running a college and forget about it, making us vulnerable to attacks.
There has got to be a lot of work that goes into preparing the school to go into a full evacuation, but just the possibility of BC getting caught off guard is enough to prepare and conduct such drills in coalition with the local fire department and police department.
Nobody can predict whether BC is a target for bomb threats or school shootings. One thing we can do is prepare. In April, a small bomb threat on campus shed light on the fact that the original emergency plans did not work out accordingly.
If fire drills building by building are going to prepare us for something like that of VT, than we should be in full support. Then again, the truth of the matter is that schools can never be totally prepared for what chaos someone can bring on any given day.?What the administration seems to be doing is preparing to make sure chaos in any emergency situation is kept under control and students, faculty and staff know what their options are.

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