MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
A simple fire drill can mean the difference between life and death for children in schools. Knowing what to do, where to go and having complete accountability is vital to ensuring no student is left behind in a potentially burning building.
Camp Lejeune Fire Protection Division conducted their 7th Annual Dependent Schools, School District-wide fire drill, Oct. 6 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.
Simultaneously the Camp Lejeune school district conducted the drill at 1:00 p.m. The drill not only served as the required fire drill for the month, but helped to keep students and faculty mindful of the importance of fire drills and exiting the building quickly and safely in case a heated situation were to ever arise.
“We do this to test the fire alarms, make sure everyone evacuates in a safe and proper manner and have accountability,” said Glenn Zurek, assistant chief of fire prevention on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Camp Lejeune Fire and Emergency Services personnel were located at the different schools to evaluate the school’s performance during the fire drill.
“It turned out very well,” said Zurek. “We had all the schools alarms function and transmit properly and most importantly we got a follow-up 911 call.”
Although there isn’t a set time for the evacuations to be completed, Zurek said they try to do it quickly and safely.
“We make sure everyone evacuates in a safe, efficient manner, making sure we have complete accountability,” said Zurek. “In most cases we are looking at an evacuation time of two minutes or under. It’s really important to go ahead and conduct fire drills in these facilities to make sure that students and faculty know that when the alarm does sound: they need to stop what they’re doing and evacuate. They may not see the emergency, but in a facility such as Lejeune High School, it’s a very large facility, and you may not always know where the emergency might be. We don’t need to say ‘yes the alarm is going off don’t worry about it.’ Any time the alarm goes off you should evacuate the facility no matter where you are.”
The drill involved approximately 3,200 adults and students from seven schools throughout Camp Lejeune and New River.
The base-wide fire drill fell during Fire Prevention Week. Each year the National Fire Prevention Association creates a theme to target different areas regarding fire safety. This year the theme is “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”
"We continue to do various fire prevention activities aboard the base,” said Zurek. “This is just one we do for the school system. Other activities include an essay contest for middle school students, teaching fire safety in all the science classes at Brewster Middle School, performing Fire Safety shows in all schools aboard Camp Lejeune and participating in static displays at various facilities aboard Camp Lejeune and New River.”
For more information about fire safety and prevention, call 451-3320.