Fire drills: A necessity for our safety


Bryn Gallagher

Do students know what to do in case of a fire on Foothill campus? Credit: Bethany Fankhauser/ The Foothill Dragon Press

We Foothillians have FIRE, but do we know what to do in case of one?

I have been at Foothill for over two years now and over the course of those years, I have yet to see a fire drill take place.

I know what to do in case of lockdowns, earthquakes, and even nuclear attacks (thanks to Mrs. Eulau’s Cold War unit and Bert the Turtle).

But if a fire were to take place, I would have no idea what to do. The only time that I have been gone for a considerable amount of time is when I contracted H1N1 and I know for a fact that no fire drill took place during my absence. What it all comes down to is Foothill lacks fire safety, a crucial element of public well-being.

California state education code 32001 states that fire drills must be held twice a year at the secondary level. To my knowledge, we have not had one in two and a half years. 

That means that if Foothill does have a fire, there will probably be around a thousand high school students that have no idea where to go. Smoke, flames, and confused freshman running around the campus would result in utter disaster.

Though that may seem terribly melodramatic, I think it is more than fair. Foothill is a small, enclosed campus and it seems that a fire could swiftly travel through when the conditions are right. A fire drill could come down to the difference between the life and death of a student.

Now, I am smart enough to know that you want to get as far away from a fire as possible, but I have no idea what school protocol on the subject is. What exactly are we expected to do? Walk to the parking lot, run across to the Ventura College, maybe run around in circles and hope for the best?

Provided that we all do manage to escape the unfortunate and fiery inferno that could be Foothill, the administration would not know where everyone was. Most would, like myself, not pay attention to where I could be found and instead head for the hills in a mad dash for survival. The fire fighters would then have to spend time looking for the missing kids who might be at Ventura College, on Day Road, Loma Vista, or even up at Arroyo Verde Park

Even if we don’t have a fire drill could we at least highlight what to do in case of fire? I don’t need a whole drill, I just want to know what to do. Wouldn’t it be time well-spent making sure that if there is a fire, we’re at least prepared?

Please, let us know what to do if a fire breaks out. Until then, I have a clear, detailed plan: sprint to Ventura College.

What do you think?