Students evacuate during fire drill

Kirkwood Community College held its most recent fire drill on Oct. 30. 

Some students in class on Monday knew it was coming. Kaden Klein, business major, who has participated in one fire drill, said, “I was told it was going to happen so I wasn’t shocked.”

Lane Jacques, business administration and financial services, who has also only participated in one fire drill, said, “I was sitting [in Linn Hall] and one of the maintenance people came and warned me before the drill so I was already up and moving.”

Klein said the drill did not negatively impact his class time. “My classroom is located right next to the stairs so it’s kind of obvious where to go, but for others, I could see it being really helpful,” he said. 

Math Professor Dr. John Dawson stated the benefit of the drill outweighs the class interruption. “The hardest part for us is making sure students react to this and take it serious and not just ignoring it,” he said.

He added, “In reality, I think having practice in procedure and where to go is very useful.”

According to Dawson, Kirkwood runs fire drills about once per year.

The college also runs a variety of other drills throughout the year, including tornado and active shooter drills.

Andrew MacPherson, associate vice president of Public Safety, said, “[we run] fire, evacuation, active threat (lock-down), shelter in place. Ideally, every few years we like to conduct a full-scale exercise, which involved bringing in local first responder[s].”

In terms of where Kirkwood would like to improve through these drills MacPherson said, “Overall awareness and preparedness of the campus community.”

MacPherson said there is a lot of preparation that goes into each drill. “We begin planning the drill(s) at the beginning of the semester, working with Academic Affairs to determine when the least impactful time will be.”

MacPherson said participation from students is key. “Being involved in these drills is important and providing feedback is critical,” he said.  

“We are always open to feedback from the campus community, especially on emergency preparedness,” said MacPherson. He added that if anyone has suggestions for future drill or trainings, they should not hesitate to call Public Safety at 319-398-7777.

Image courtesy of Puja Thota | Kirkwood Communiqué

Categories: News