As every student knows, Fire Drills are a way of life. Sometimes they seem expected. Like when your teacher tells you, don’t settle in, we are going out for a fire drill. Other times they are down right outrageous. Like the one that occurred in the middle of 3rd period, during a rain storm. We all remember that day, don’t we. The alarms started. The rain was pounding. If you were in North 2, you couldn’t get out, because students refused to exit! Mrs. Stewart had to come on the PA to tell us, that this was a “Real drill, and you must exit immediately.” It was crazy. When we finally came back in the building, people were falling, and slipping, and freezing cold from being soaking wet. For most of us, it was our first rainy day Fire Drill.
Not to be outdone, Friday the 13th welcomed Westside’s second ill timed Fire Drill of the year. This time, during lunch. That’s right during lunch. “Everybody must exit the building” came the cry from bull horn speakers. Mr. Plisken was charged with the task of controlling the long line of students out on Valedictorian, who were returning from off campus lunch. And Ms. Burris controlled the pizza delivery guy with her ladle. (who brings a ladle to a fire drill? the same person who would say, “aren’t you glad I had it.”) They had no choice but to wait it out in their cars.
While it may have been pain for the Admin in the building, the students had no problem being outside on such a nice day. Some read, others played football. And most assuredly there were 100’s, if not 1,000’s of Snapchats about the whole ordeal.
Fire Drills are, of course, serious business. At any given time there may be close to 3500 people inside these doors, and getting everybody out safely is a remarkable feet. Its why we practice. So while acknowledging the severity of the process, I can’t help but find humor in the fact that when our alarms go off, Firehouse No. 86 springs into action to call on that alarm. They ready their gear, load up their trucks, hit the lights and sirens, roll out on Briar Forest, only to drive straight up the horseshoe. Its all very dramatic, and a little silly. Silly, that is, until the day we have a real emergency, and they are here before we are even down the stairs.