Only Whom Can Prevent House Fires?

You may recall that I work in a beat-down old house from yesteryear. With recent emergency response protocols being discussed on campus, JP the British Boss decides he will conduct a random fire drill -- LOL. I'm all for safety first, but I think we know about our exit routes. And being that our house is held together with ancient timber left over from Noah's era, I have full mind to hot-foot (in a most orderly fashion) out of that place because it will be eaten alive in flames. Unless the lead paint and asbestos tiles provide barrier protection. So JP send out an email to stay frosty that a fire drill looms on the horizon.

The Man Who Cried Drill

So one afternoon, I'm in the lobby chatting with Dimitria, and JP steps out and announces to us in an unauthoritative and somewhat side-comment-like way there will be a drill. So he goes over to the security alarm and sets it off. D and I share a look of "what's he doing over there" on our faces. Then he gets all excited and starts coaxing "Let's go, let's go! It's a drill!" No one is coming from the upstairs. And it's because he was testing that security alarm earlier that week, so no one paid it any mind. And it only went off for about 5 seconds, LOL. So D has to send an email to everyone with a subject heading "there's a fire drill. please evacuate now" or something like that. JP bounds upstairs to hustle out the top floor.

We start gathering across the street, making jokes about how the house should really be on fire. Then we're chanting "Burn! Burn!" while Sylvia has her student advisee with her. She probably thought we were crazy. Then JP comes out and is like "good job team, but we met up in the wrong place." He wants up to go NEXT DOOR in case of a fire. I told him, "I'm putting a street between me and a fire, not a 12 foot stretch of grass." It was all quite comical.

And bless his heart, JP tries to be on top of things. He made these signs to put up that direct people on evacuation during an emergency. Two things, though. 1) He found an image online of a medical cross with an arrow... but it always points to the right, even if the nearest exit is to the left, LOL. 2) It says "Find nearest means of egress" on it. JP, we live in the US! Americans don't know what "egress" means! Sylvia said she'd die in the fire because she'd read the sign and have to look up "egress" on her computer to find out what it meant.

Sorry Smokey, I think we let you down.

Fight Fires with Literacy

Foster and I are on our way to dinner one night and there's a fire engine, lights a-twinkle, in front of the Post Office. We slow as we approach so we can go around it. And all I see is a firefighter in full gear, reading a newspaper while leaning against the wall. No other activity. I found the image quite funny.


Robert said...

You should post some pictures of this building on your blog. They may be all that remains when everyone dies in the inevitable fire.

Army said...

LOL, a good suggestion, Robert! If only it was a residential house now, I'd totally put it up for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. One look and that team would be burning rubber to get here : )

Allie D. said...

egress? LOL!!

You know, Extreme Home Makeover did a firehouse just recently. What you're lacking on getting onto that show is an overwhelming appeal to the pathos. Like a dead pet, or better yet one of your employees with a terminal illness.