First Fire Drills of The School Year

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Lisa Jorgensen, Reporter

Arrowhead students and staff experienced the first fire drills of the 2021-2022 school year on Friday, September 17th, 2021. Both campuses had their fire drills in the morning, with South Campus having their fire drill at the beginning of second hour at 8:05 am and North Campus at the beginning of third hour at 9:00 am. 

 

Fire drills are required by the state to be done once a month during the school year. Arrowhead does them monthly to maintain a safe school environment, while also making sure students and staff know what to do if there ever is a real fire in one of the buildings. 

 

In an email to Arrowhead staff, Debra Paradowski, the South Campus associate principal and SLAM (Students Leaving a Mark) advisor, said, “When you take your students outside, please take them away from the building and [keep] them out of the roads. We sometimes have the fire department on-site to view our drill.”

 

The South Campus students followed this rule with teachers making sure everyone was on the sidewalk between the roads, so the fire trucks could get through if it were an emergency. 

 

Becky Gordon, the North Campus associate principal, said, “It went very well at North campus. We had no errors and all followed the procedure.”  All staff know ahead of time of the fire drill so they are aware of it and can let students know in advance, if needed. 

 

Eileen Dlobik, a special education staff member, said, “Sometimes we let certain kids know to prepare them a very short time before. If you tell them the day before, then they worry about it. If you tell them a short time before it, then they don’t have enough time to worry about it.” 

 

Teresina Salerno and Katelyn Olson, sophomores at Arrowhead, stated that they didn’t know that there was a fire drill ahead of time. 

 

According to Gordon, in upcoming fire drills, staff will also be blocking different exits to have the students and teachers think of a different route to take when exiting the building safely. 

 

Gordon said, “As I watched them exit the building, they were quiet and moved swiftly to the appropriate exits. In addition, students moved away from the building which they are asked to do.” 

 

North Campus students have two or three years of doing fire drills at Arrowhead, while the South Campus students have one year or no experience of doing fire drills at Arrowhead. 

 

Salerno said, “I wasn’t expecting it, but now that we have done it I feel safer knowing that we know what to do even if something happens in June.”

 

The special education teachers do their best to help the students through the drill by making it their key point of learning what to do during the drill. 

 

Dlobik said, “For the most part, they do very well and it teaches them coping skills and life skills for the real world.”