Friday, September 22, 2006

Hokey smoke!

I was just reminded of a great story about workplace fire drills. Ironic, since recently, as the Occupational Health & Safety Officer at my school, I overhauled all the evacuation maps and escape plans in preparation for our next fire drill. (Fire drills are always fun in a primary school!)

When I was seconded to State Office in 1998, the office staff proudly presented me with a plastic hard hat, which meant, as the newest arrival, I was now Deputy Fire Drill Safety Officer! Oh well, it got me away from the desk for one day a year to undertake training.

One rather memorable round of safety officer training, held before I commenced my secondment, concerned a Very Serious Fire Drill. Although it was pronounced as successful - and everyone was congratulated - a few days later several neighbouring fire brigades arrived with their sirens blaring, responding to a supposed real emergency. But all 500+ staff members were still inside working on their computers.

The firemen ran in, axes and extinguishers in hand, totally perplexed to realise that noone had evacuated - because the fire was in the fire alarm cabinet!

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