Evacuation Procedures

1. Whenever the fire alarms/strobes are activated, occupants must evacuate the building and reassemble at the designated location(s). Occupants on floors above the ground floor must use emergency exit stairwells to leave the building.
Do not use elevators!

2. For certain emergencies such as a bomb threat, the fire alarms/strobes may not be used. Instead, authorized emergency response officials will move through the building and order the occupants to evacuate. Faculty and staff members do not initiate building evacuations. However, under certain circumstances, they may be authorized to announce the evacuation in their assigned areas.

3. Emergency evacuation signage is posted in buildings so that occupants can become familiar with the evacuation routes for their area.

4. Faculty members are responsible for assisting and directing building occupants in assigned areas to the fire exit stairwell and confirming that all occupants have evacuated the areas. The faculty members will report to an authorized emergency responder that their area is clear. Authorized emergency responders are uniformed police officers, members of the fire department or Seminole State emergency response officials. Try to remain calm, and give clear evacuation instructions.

5. Faculty members are responsible for working with the Department of Disability Support Services and with departmental chairs and directors to identify any Seminole State students with a disability who would need consideration and assistance during an evacuation. At least two staff members should be assigned to each person with an identified disability, ensuring that the disabled person will be assisted during the evacuation. Should the disabled person not be able to use the fire exit stairwells, he or she must be escorted to the exit stairwell landing as a "Safe Area of Rescue." The escort should remain with the disabled person at the landing to provide additional assistance. The faculty member will inform an authorized emergency responder that a disabled person is waiting for rescue on the specified floor within the exit stairwell.

6. Specific Procedures for Assisting Disabled Individuals:

  • Visually Impaired/Blind: Advise the person without sight of the nature of the emergency, and offer your arm for guidance. As you walk, inform the person where you are and of any obstacles in your path. When you reach safety, orient them to a safe location, and ask if they need any further assistance.
  • Hearing Impaired/Deaf: Persons who are hearing impaired or deaf may not perceive an audible fire alarm. Use an alternate warning system. Two methods are:
    • Write a note to tell the person of the situation, the nearest evacuation route, and the assembly area.
    • Turn the light switch on and off to gain attention only if there is not a gas line leak. Then indicate in writing or through gestures what is happening and what to do.

Sample Script: "FIRE! Go out the rear door to the right and down. NOW. Meet on front lawn."

Persons Using Crutches/Canes or Walkers

In emergency evacuations, these individuals should be treated as if they are injured. Have the individual sit on a sturdy chair (preferably a chair with arms), and follow the procedure for non-ambulatory persons listed in the next section.

Non-ambulatory Persons

Most non-ambulatory persons will be able to exit safely without assistance if they are on the ground floor. For floors above the ground level, needs and preferences will vary. Always consult the person as to his/her preferences regarding:

  • Ways of being removed from the wheelchair
  • The number of people needed for assistance
  • Whether to move or extend extremities when lifting
  • The need for a seat cushion or pad
  • After-care if person is removed from the wheelchair (is a stretcher, chair or paramedic attention necessary?)

Other considerations:

  • Check the evacuation routes for obstructions before assisting the person to the exit.
  • Delegate other volunteers to bring the wheelchair.
  • Reunite the person with their wheelchair as soon as it is safe to retrieve it.
  • Be aware that some people have minimal ability to move. Lifting or moving them too quickly may be dangerous to their health. It may be necessary for trained rescue responders to bring the person out of the building. If this is the situation, the person must be brought to a "Safe Area of Rescue" to wait for assistance.

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