I had two interesting conversations recently with people from other communities: one had been in Ukraine, the other was a retired fire chief in the U.S. Our conversations dealt with how people survive emergencies when their leadership is no longer with them (killed), or their area needs to survive existing damaged areas.
Having been to many of large senior apartment dwellings with only one point of entrance it made me think. If we had to get out, even in case of fire, there were no exits to these areas housing hundreds of persons.
This is not the world we used to live in. We need to think differently when planning how people will react in an emergency. I think it is time for the planning commission and the fire departments to work together to solve some existing problems.
1. Many of these type buildings were erected before regulations to help disabled persons were enacted. For instance, have you ever watched the Handybus trying to back out of an area that had no exit, only an entrance?
2. Have you ever wondered how huge fire trucks could maneuver in crowded parking lots if there was a serious fire? If they were coming in, how would others get out?
3. In the case of a large number of injured people, is there one organization that would take charge of dispensing patients to where there was room to treat them?
Thank you for printing this because we need to think ahead.
Rev. Emmalou Kirchmeier