Fire Drills on Campus

By  Nash Wills, Staff Writer

Thunderbird has been revamping their safety procedures regarding fires as of late. A couple of weeks ago, the first incident occurred and revolved around securing the B dorms. The second occurred on Wednesday March 2, and concerned the library. I, ever the bloodhound for news stories on the Thunderbird campus, was there for both events and recount the details below:

Photo Courtesy of www.mtsu.edu
Photo Courtesy of www.mtsu.edu

Fire drills have always seemed inherently inconvenient to me. Just like having to take your shoes off while going through airport security: Aggravating and inconvenient, but apparently for your own good. I had forgotten about the fire drill scheduled for A and B dorms. They had given us a time slot of potential times that it would take place and it had slipped my mind. I was on the tail end of a three-day bender involving finance, strategy, and marketing projects and had just woken up. I like to step outside my room in the morning and breath in the fresh Arizona air. On this morning I did just that. Within seconds of stepping outside bedlam ensued in the form of a cacophony of noise. The fire drill had begun. My neighbor on campus is the B dorm resident assistant. Juxtaposed between the calm Glendale morning and the pseudo-disaster, Ronnie inaudibly tells me to help him go knock on every single door. We are supposed to wake them up and usher them out of their rooms. I had just woken up, there was an alarm blasting in my ears, and I was hungry. Ronnie took off in one direction. I proceeded to the dining hall. Sorry Ronnie.

Probably the coolest thing about a fire drill is the unexpected side effects that come with it. The most crowded I’ve ever seen the commons was on that morning. It was nice seeing everyone and we were all at our worst. I chitchatted around with some people and got the usual for breakfast: sausage, egg, and cheese muffin with a side of breakfast potatoes—you get more potatoes for the same price as opposed to a hash brown. After breakfast I returned to the dorms. All’s well that ends well.

Photo Courtesy of www.keepcalm.com
Photo Courtesy of www.keepcalm.com

Who would have thought that I would have been at the library for the second fire drill? The setting was 9am on a Wednesday morning. I had just completed two exams the day before and had a finance analysis due at 3 o’clock that afternoon. Lauren and I had worked on it for hours the night before and had already eaten breakfast and were on the way to the library to work on it for another five hours—perfectionist struggles. We got inside, went to study room 3, got the laptop, the legal pad, the notebooks, the case and the calculator out and started. Knock, knock, knock! It’s Shane at the door telling us there’s a fire drill taking place. We have to get our stuff and go outside. I am thinking to myself, “Could there have been a more inconvenient time?” In retrospect I still don’t think there could have been. Lauren and I gather our belongings and proceed towards the exit. We make it outside. We’re safe. There were a total of six people in the library. The fire marshal comes outside and tells us we did a good job.

Two discoveries were made that day: The first and most obvious being that the actual alarm is too silent to hear. The second that the original location that we were supposed to go to in case of a fire was across the street over by the YMCA parking lot. If there was a real fire, we are told, there would be fire trucks and anarchy in the street, thus preventing us from crossing. A new location is decided upon as the refuge site for future. This concludes my fire drill tales.

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