Thursday, October 28, 2010

Earthquake Preparedness

Well, it turns out that we at this school are totally unprepared to deal with an earthquake, should one happen from 7:30-3:30, Monday through Friday. We had the most bungled earthquake drill today, which ended with the principal barking through the hand held radios that some of us get to carry, "This just isn't working! We have to do it again! Just ring the bell for lunch!"

What went wrong? What went right!

The entire thing can be summarized in the following radio exchange that ended in the Principal's fevered cry that called the whole thing off. To put this in context, you must know that all of the students were on the PE field, lined up with the classes they were in when the alarm sounded. Various staff members were assigned to search and rescue teams and were searching their assigned wings of the buildings in order to rescue accident victims, played by other staff members and students. My role was to sit at the "Reunion Gate" where we would reunite students with the parents, which is something we've never actually practiced with any success. I predict chaos at al times. Anyway, the principal and others (including me) are connected by radio. The rescue teams report to the principal at the command center when rooms/floors/buildings are clear or when they've found a "victim".

So, on the radio we hear:

Teacher: Command center, command center, we've got a victim in room 3107.
2 minutes pass
Teacher: Command center, we've now got two victims. We're bringing them in.
Principal: I have to know what the room numbers are! (angry)
Teacher: Command center, that would be rooms 3108 and 3107.
nothing for 30 seconds
Principal: But don't they have broken legs????
Teacher: (pause) Yes, uh, that's right. Broken legs.
Principal: Then how are you going to move them??!!??
Long pause
Teacher: (sounding like he hopes this is the right answer) Uh....stretcher?
Principal: This just isn't working! We have to do it again! Just ring the bell for lunch!

Aaaaaannd SCENE!

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