Firies drop in

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

PRI­MARY school stu­dents at St Au­gus­tine’s, Moss­man and Miallo re­cently got a shock when the fire alarm went off and the Queens­land Fire Ser­vice at­tended their schools.

For­tu­nately this time there were no fires, it was an or­gan­ised fire drill that only the prin­ci­pals of each school new about, to test the re­ac­tion of both the stu­dents and teach­ers.

Stu­dents from each school acted out a role of be­ing a miss­ing stu­dent and at St Au­gus­tine’s 11- year- old stu­dent Tom Walker was the miss­ing stu­dent wait­ing for the firies to lo­cate and save him.

‘‘I didn’t know what was hap­pen­ing at first, I was scared and then they came and told me about it and I joined in,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely im­por­tant be­cause it can ac­tu­ally hap­pen one day prop­erly.’’

Moss­man Fire and Res­cue Lieu­tenant An­drew Pe­track said they treated the fire drill as a nor­mal pro­ce­dure, which was also train­ing for them.

‘‘We smoked out a room to sim­u­late a real fire and upon ar­rival we lo­cated our miss­ing per­son and that’s where Tom was in­volved,’’ he said.

‘‘The pri­or­ity was to res­cue him and then sup­press the fire.’’

Af­ter the fire drill sev­eral stu­dents spoke to Moss­man Fire and Res­cue Lieu­tenant An­drew Pe­track and said they were so scared be­cause they thought the drill was real ‘‘ we could have been dead’’, one stu­dent said.

Mr Pe­track said it was good for the teach­ers to see how the stu­dents re­acted to the fire alarm, to work with them to get them out of the classrooms fast. ‘‘The fire drills went re­ally good, it was good to see the sys­tems in place and im­prove­ments that can be done as they took too long to get out,’’ he said.

‘‘One of the prob­lems we faced is the stu­dents all knew us and kept wav­ing at us, but over­all they did a good job and we got to en­force how im­por­tant it is to lis­ten to teach­ers and get out of their classrooms fast.

‘‘We are go­ing to be do­ing fire drills on more than one oc­ca­sion, it’s im­por­tant to do them reg­u­larly and help raise com­mu­nity aware­ness.’’

Pic­ture: ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

DRILLS: James Per­ham res­cu­ing Tom Walker with Dan Waiter

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