Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Excitement of the day

The fire alarms went off not long after lunch. I've been doing emergency response team stuff for over 20 years, with three different companies, so I swung into action. Clearing the building was hard, because everyone (particularily managers) figured it was just a drill, so they were going to blow it off. Glad I have an orange vest and a gear pack. If someone dressed that way is telling them "no, this is NOT a drill!" they start to realize it's not a drill. Getting people away from the buildings was also a problem. We ERT folks couldn't get them to go to the designated assembly points (ack, herding cats and engineers is the same!), so we settled on away from the buildings.

No one knew what was going on, including us. But a large crew of fire department trucks showed up. At that point, people stopped trying to argue with us. The fire department apparently found some folks in a restricted-access lab downstairs who were ignoring the alarms. We saw them escort about 10 people out. About 10 minutes later, we got a radio report that things looked okay, but we still were not clear to re-enter. Another 10 minutes, and we got an all clear. One of the fire department guys coming out of the building told me it was a malfunctioning smoke detector, not a fire. Good. But it's better to have a not-a-drill like this, with nothing really wrong, because then you start to realize what you'll be up against if something major happens.

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