Engineering staff and students at the evacuation assembly area
The fire alarm sounded, lifts stalled, smoke doors were remotely activated, and staff and students dropped whatever they were doing, scrambling out of their offices, classrooms and labs, as they made a beeline for the open air assembly area at Tembusu Grove next to Bedok Reservoir.
They were participating in the School’s annual fire evacuation drill held on 28 Jun 2019 at 4.30pm.
In total, more than a thousand staff, students, canteen operators, as well as cleaners and construction workers (from a renovation site on campus) joined the exercise. For the first time, the roll-call went paperless, as attendance was taken by the scanning of a QR code, significantly shortening the duration of the entire exercise, which was over in about 15 minutes.
Chief Operating Officer in charge of the evacuation exercise, Mr Dexter Phang, said: “Despite evacuation drills held yearly, we still need to be trained adequately; better to be safe than sorry.”
The evacuation drill is held annually to test the School’s operational readiness, as well as to ensure that everyone knows what to do in an emergency. Safety and security are key priorities in the School’s effort to create a conducive environment for study, work and play.
Incidentally, the exercise was also a bonding opportunity and a chance to get a good dose of vitamin D!