Marji Harris/Staff Photo
Campus drill shakes out procedures
Pierce, along with other state organizations, practiced evacuation skills Oct. 19
October 26, 2017
On Oct. 19 Pierce College participated with the state of Washington in the annual “Great Washington Shake Out” drill.
The mandatory college drilled lasted from 10:19 a.m – 10:30 a.m, in compliance with Washington law. One planned evacuation drill occurred, which helped to inform students and staff about procedures during an earthquake. The drill also practiced communications capabilities of handheld radios among coordinators and individual circumstances that might arise.
“By participating in the drill, it showed Campus Safety where its resource gaps were and how they could improve in effectiveness for a hypothetical earthquake,” said Jose Nieves, the Interim Director of Campus Safety & Security. The drill practice included use of the emergency mass communications system via Everbridge.
The elevators were out of service during the evacuation drill and the handicapped chairs for the stairs weren’t operational, making it difficult for individuals with disabilities in navigating the stairs. “Disabled individuals within the area was exempted from participating in the evacuation,” said Nieves.
To resolving these issues, Campus Safety said it contracted a training class to fix the evacuation chairs. Exempt individuals were able to obtain free earplugs from Campus Safety to reduce the sounds of the earthquake alarm.
According to staff and evacuation team member Travis Goodwin, a selected number of staff were chosen from each location and building to ensure each level was cleared.
Goodwin said about the success of the evacuation, “I think it’s organized and needed once in a while to understand the importance of procedures. I think communication among staff members and students could be improved. “