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    Default Of Geniuses and School Fire Drills

    I guess we need to have a history lesson for some people. Aren't they making a movie out of the Our Lady of Angels story?
    HOT OVER FIRE DRILLS Mon Nov 7, 6:00 AM ET



    Education watchdogs in city and state government are hot under the collar over the number of fire drills required in public schools and they want it reduced.


    State law mandates 12 a year and eight between the first day of school and Dec. 1. That means students practice the evacuation plan about once a week during the school year's first three months.


    Lawmakers want that extinguished.


    "The number of required fire drills is absurd," Eva Moskowitz, who chairs the City Council's Education Committee, recently wrote in a letter to her counterparts in Albany.


    Once kids learn the drill, she wrote, repeating it once a week distracts from the learning process, and fails to "measurably add" to student safety.


    While teachers hardly consider excessive fire drills a burning issue, most agree that the routine can dramatically disrupt the flow of the day. David Andreatta



    This was from the New York Post.

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    So, have them every Friday at the end of the day.
    As soon as roll call is complete, kids go home for the week end.
    That wouldn't disrupt the school day.
    Priorities in this country are ALL SCREWED UP!
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    Yes, these "educated" people can make some very poor choices. The majority of the people in our schools do care for our children, but it only takes a few that "think" they are experts at everything.

    I would not "assume" to know all about education, Even if I did go to at least 4 years of college to become a teacher. But this person "assumes" to know about fire safety.... how much time have they even thought about it?

    I wish my old friend, Deputy Chief Ray Davison of Vergennes, VT was still on earth. He combined the two, Public educator and the fire service. He was a class act that could have nicely put this person in their place using terms they could understand.

    Fire Drills in the School have expanded just like the fire service responsibilities. Bomb, Invasion, HazMat release, etc...... if the school is trying to cover all these things you may only practise one item 2-3x and call it a "fire drill".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    So, have them every Friday at the end of the day.
    As soon as roll call is complete, kids go home for the week end.
    That wouldn't disrupt the school day.
    Priorities in this country are ALL SCREWED UP!
    CR
    Yeah. Just think how fast they would clear the school! The teachers would be trying to beat the kids.

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    Not that I'm the biggest fan of the military, but I once heard a statistic about Navy Seals/Rangers/etc. type of training.

    It takes the human mind/body 2000 times of repetition to make an action almost natural instinct.

    I say....let the law makers keep on complaining...because I guarantee you, that once a school has a major crisis on their hands and a law maker's kid is inside...the laws will then change AGAIN.

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    Default Michigan Law

    Michigan requires 10 drills a year. They must be recorded on a log in the school office. Two of them must be "shelter in place" also known as tornado drills. In my town they also do two bomb threat drills a year in which students are loaded on buses and transported to alternative locations. No getting out of school because of a bomb threat. Seems to work here and I have not heard any complaints.

    BTW, Michigan has not had a student die in a school fire since the law was enacted in 1941.

    Stay safe,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    So, have them every Friday at the end of the day.
    As soon as roll call is complete, kids go home for the week end.
    That wouldn't disrupt the school day.
    Priorities in this country are ALL SCREWED UP!
    CR
    We had a incident that a bag of microwave popcorn was accidently left in too long. It happened during the "lunch" period at the elementary school. It was not during the normal class times that fire drills "usually" happen during. Things did not go bad, but there was more confusion than normal. The point being a staged drill will not cover all the times you need to. Lunch, recess, etc.

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    I was in high school not too many years ago so I can offer a pretty educated opinion on this matter (cheap pun, i know).

    Everyone knows what the blaring fire alarm signifies. Everyone knows that you proceed to an exit and stand around outside. We all know where the doors are and how to push the bar and walk out them. As far as 99% of the people in the building are concerned, "It's just another drill or a malfunction." Everyone walks outside slowly and calmly and stands around. 10 minutes later, they ring the bell and everyone goes back in. Calling it a "DRILL" is totally pointless. It makes the administration feel better and makes some code book satisfied, but it really accomplishes nothing. I'm not saying NEVER have a drill, but the amount that take place are totally not neccessary. In fact, it has a negative effect because everyone just assumes it is the same usless non-sense.

    I will also say this. If there ever was a real fire with real smoke spreading quickly through the halls, there is going to be a stampeed of epic proportions with mass panic abounding. Yea, everyone will probably get out fine but if you honestly believe that 800 high school kids will form a line and orderly evacuation with actual imminent danger, you're dreaming. Doing a million fire drills vs 4 won't change that.

    In my former school's case, there was also the little problem about administration not telling the students the truth. They seemed to think we were all morons, and did so knowing there were some students who were also involved with the FD at the time. I remember one time someone called in a bomb threat and told them that if they activated the fire alarm to evacuate, the bomb would go off. So the principle made an announcement on the intercom system that we were going to have a fire drill without the use of the alarms or bells to see if we can do it without it (in case of malfunction....). Everyone knew he was lying, you could tell he was nervous and shaking in his boots. But you can understand him not just saying "THERE'S A BOMB, EVERYONE LEAVE!". Everyone left the building like usual. We stood outside without jackets for over an hour. The state police were there. We were out there so long, there were students calling their parents. A lot of people's parents told their kids to get in their car and leave or came to get them because it was so obvious this wasn't a drill and they didn't like it. When they finally let us back in, the principle actually had the nerve to say "thank you for participating in this drill" like we're a bunch of idiots. How can students and staff be expected to take a drill seriously when we're lied to about them?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Sorry. I need to edit my post. I'll be back.
    Last edited by superchef; 11-07-2005 at 05:28 PM.

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    For me it's not a matter of how often it's done, but when. Inbetween classes would be a good time. As students, they expect it to be done during classes. Still, even if a fire were to break out, at a point like that..in most high schools, a rapid primary could be an easy thing in the uneffected part, but could be very hard in places such as an auditorium. And how often does the janitorial or office staff do these drills..in almost every school in my area, they stay in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    I was in high school not too many years ago so I can offer a pretty educated opinion on this matter (cheap pun, i know).

    Everyone knows what the blaring fire alarm signifies. Everyone knows that you proceed to an exit and stand around outside. We all know where the doors are and how to push the bar and walk out them. As far as 99% of the people in the building are concerned, "It's just another drill or a malfunction." Everyone walks outside slowly and calmly and stands around. 10 minutes later, they ring the bell and everyone goes back in. Calling it a "DRILL" is totally pointless. It makes the administration feel better and makes some code book satisfied, but it really accomplishes nothing. I'm not saying NEVER have a drill, but the amount that take place are totally not neccessary. In fact, it has a negative effect because everyone just assumes it is the same usless non-sense.

    I will also say this. If there ever was a real fire with real smoke spreading quickly through the halls, there is going to be a stampeed of epic proportions with mass panic abounding. Yea, everyone will probably get out fine but if you honestly believe that 800 high school kids will form a line and orderly evacuation with actual imminent danger, you're dreaming. Doing a million fire drills vs 4 won't change that.

    In my former school's case, there was also the little problem about administration not telling the students the truth. They seemed to think we were all morons, and did so knowing there were some students who were also involved with the FD at the time. I remember one time someone called in a bomb threat and told them that if they activated the fire alarm to evacuate, the bomb would go off. So the principle made an announcement on the intercom system that we were going to have a fire drill without the use of the alarms or bells to see if we can do it without it (in case of malfunction....). Everyone knew he was lying, you could tell he was nervous and shaking in his boots. But you can understand him not just saying "THERE'S A BOMB, EVERYONE LEAVE!". Everyone left the building like usual. We stood outside without jackets for over an hour. The state police were there. We were out there so long, there were students calling their parents. A lot of people's parents told their kids to get in their car and leave or came to get them because it was so obvious this wasn't a drill and they didn't like it. When they finally let us back in, the principle actually had the nerve to say "thank you for participating in this drill" like we're a bunch of idiots. How can students and staff be expected to take a drill seriously when we're lied to about them?
    You need to take a course from the NFA Open Learning Program called Fire-Related Human Behavior. Because every thing you have said above is wrong.

    In an emergency situation, people-especially children-revert to their most ingrained habits. Proof? How about HappyLand, Beverly Hills Supper Club and The Station? The bodies piled up at the door people came in while other reachable exits were virtually unused. These people went into the building through a particular door and then inately went to leave the same way when under stress.

    Frequent drills, with an occassional variation to allow for use of a secondary exit will ingrain in a child where the exits are. The drill doesn't teach the child to get out of the building quickly. It teaches them the location of a primary and alternate exit. It teaches them the location of the meeting place. It does so, so that this behavior is automatic when there is an actual fire. It teaches them to listen to their teacher.

    I have investigated two serious school fires in grammar schools and one in a large nursery school that occurred while the school was in session. I have investigated a bunch of fires of lesser magnitude in other types of schools. In not one single case was there a panic or a disorderly evacuation.

    Your opinion is not very educated.

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    I should clarify... I'm refering to a high school setting, not a younger age such elementery and nursery school. I truely believe it is not the same and I'm pretty accurate in my depiction of reality here (not saying it's the case everywhere). Also don't take this to mean I'm implying they shouldn't do any either.

    George, you and I will probably not come to a total agreement on this so I'm not going get into a drawn out argument over it. You're absolutely right according to the book. Unfortunately, the book doesn't portray an accurate reality in my experience here.

    For what it's worth, I'm interested in your opinion on the honesty and lying thing to. It's was a major sore spot I had with our school's administration back then. That and they went through a phase where they felt barricading all the exits except one or two was a good idea to enhance security. When myself and few of my friends (all FD members) pointed out that they couldn't do that, they threatened us with disiplinary action. Funny how their attitude changed when the fire marshal got a call from us and came down there very angry.
    Last edited by nmfire; 11-07-2005 at 05:56 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I cant recall how many are needed in school year ............but sure as God makes little green apples ..............if there WAS a fire and someone's child got injured or killed .......then people would be complaining we didnt do enough of them.....so I say leave 'em the hell alone !
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    We once had a new school principal who didn't want a fire drill during the first week of school as mandated by the law because "it may upset the children"...

    My answer to this master's degree in education person was...

    "if you think the children will be upset.. how will the parents react when I tell them their child died in a school fire?"

    The look on his face was priceless. We had the fire drill and many others.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    When I was in grade school, 5th and 6th grade were on the second floor.
    We had the "tubes" to slide down. Hell, it was better than recess to get to go down the tubes.
    On weekends, we went over to the school with wax paper to make them slick.
    Believe me; your ride down was very fast and the teeter totters at the bottom made for an interesting "drill".
    God, I miss the old days.
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    You had evacuation slides in your school? Damn, I wish I was that old!!
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Here's an idea ... if 12 drills are required, why not have them at all different times of the day so they do cover the different classes kids would be in at any given time. If you always do the drills at the same time of day what happens during the real emergency when you are in the bathroom, library, gym, band/music room, drama room, chem lab etc.

    For elementary school kids (or maybe even all ages), instead of just having the regular "walk out quietly in single file and meet in the parking lot" type of drill, why not get more in depth and for example, have them crawl or walk crouched down as if the school was full of smoke and count the doors and number of stairs between their classroom and the various exits. Or if that is too complex for the young ones, make it a learning experience and still make the kids count the doors as they are walking out.

    Of course, you all know I'm not a firefighter or a teacher for that matter and these ideas may be completely unworkable, but I thought I would throw it out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    I should clarify... I'm refering to a high school setting, not a younger age such elementery and nursery school. I truely believe it is not the same and I'm pretty accurate in my depiction of reality here (not saying it's the case everywhere). Also don't take this to mean I'm implying they shouldn't do any either..
    Please tell me what the difference is. In both cases you are talking about an environment where there are large numbers of minors. You are also talking about human behavior in a fire. The excuse that a drill interrupts the learning process is exactly part of the problem. What is the role of an educator but to educate. If there was more focus on fire prevention education in schools then maybe that would reduce the number of children who are injured and killed in fires every year. Maybe that would reduce the number of children who become juvenile firesetters because they like fire. High school students are not exempt from being required to have basic knowledge in what to do in the event of an emergency. If anything they can learn and take that knowledge home to their younger siblings

    And here in California, we had mandatory drills in what to do in an earthquake too (including high school).

    ps. Fire also does not know the difference between a high school and an elementary school. Or did I miss something in my Fire Dymanics class?
    Last edited by superchef; 11-07-2005 at 10:31 PM.

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    Like I said over and over, I'm not suggesting having no fire drills. I'm not denying what the books say and what the research says. I'm just telling you what the reality is in my personal experience.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    It would be interesting to take a Rosco smoke machine into a school and smoke up an area to see how the students and teachers would react... not fill the area to the point of zero visiblity, but just enought to create a haze...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Default what the research says

    During 2001, an estimated 7,100 reported fires in educational properties caused 76 civilian injuries and $127.7 million in estimated direct property damage. Educational properties include:

    public, private and parochial schools from preschool through high school where students attend during the day only; daycare facilities; public, private or parochial boarding
    schools; trade or business schools; and colleges or universities.
    During the three-year period of 1999-2001:

    Educational property structure fires started in a wide variety of areas. During this time period, the leading area of origin was the lavatory or locker room, with 23% of the incidents. Another 13% of the fires started in the kitchen. Seven percent started in classrooms or assembly area for less than 100 people. Another 7% started in thecorridor or hallway.

    Forty-six percent of the fires in educational properties were intentionally set.

    http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF...nalSummary.pdf


    Unfortunately, the full report is not available but the above summary is adequate.
    Last edited by superchef; 11-07-2005 at 11:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    It would be interesting to take a Rosco smoke machine into a school and smoke up an area to see how the students and teachers would react... not fill the area to the point of zero visiblity, but just enought to create a haze...
    We do that at several schools once each year. We also have changed from "Fire Drills" to "Emergency Drills". They are conducted unannounced and each drills a different scenario.. i.e: fire, hazmat leak nearby, bomb threat, person with a gun, etc etc. The drills involve all responders (Fire, Law and EMS).

    We also drill moving the students and staff to another school or other safe location.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    Like I said over and over, I'm not suggesting having no fire drills. I'm not denying what the books say and what the research says. I'm just telling you what the reality is in my personal experience.
    Ok. Maybe I missed something NM. Please tell me what you ARE suggesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    It would be interesting to take a Rosco smoke machine into a school and smoke up an area to see how the students and teachers would react... not fill the area to the point of zero visiblity, but just enought to create a haze...
    .....yes yes it would be .,..........thicken it up some ............my bet is on pandemonium breaking out !
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    When I was in 2nd grade (wow, that seems like so long ago!), they put up these plywood cutouts that looked like fire between where my classroom was and our designated exit door, so we had to go a different way.
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