In a Pinch They’re Trained to Help
It may be among the most important lessons learned at residence halls this semester—fire safety training provided by a host of departments from Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse, and New York State. This video highlights the efforts, which include a real-life demonstration of a fire in a residence hall dwelling.
Here’s a transcription of our story:
Interviewer: “It is an extreme example of what can happen when a room goes up in flames and how quickly fire can spread. Syracuse University residence hall directors and assistant directors along with resident advisers recently took part in residence life fire safety training academy, learning about fire sprinklers and how they work, getting a chance to operate a fire extinguisher, even feeling what it’s like to have to navigate a smoke-filled hallway to safety.
John Rossiter, Safety Manager: “Each of the training modules are set up for something the RA’s may encounter or may have to encounter in terms of their job during the school year. If there happens to be a fire in a building they understand how to maneuver through smoke-filled hallway to get out of building, so all the training modules are set up to teach the RAs in a real-life situation.”
Interviewer: “The fire safety academy involves a number of departments from throughout the University including Residence Life and Environmental Health and Safety Services as well as fire officials from the city of Syracuse and New York state. It comes in the wake of a fatal fire at Seton Hall more than a decade ago, at which time then Governor George Pataki requested all colleges provide fire safety training. The academy at SU takes it several steps further helping that lesson sink in.”
Dellareese Jackson, Residence Director: “I mean the thing we just went through with the smoke I’ve never gone through anything like that from RA to several years doing this is an RD, that by far was one of the scariest, but I really feel like it puts us in a real-life situation.”
Sami Kaye, Resident Advisor: “If you had asked me, especially before my first year being an RA, if I ever knew how to shoot a fire extinguisher or how to like put out a fire with it, I would have had no idea. Like yeah you can read instructions but in the heat of the moment, you really need to know how to attend to the crisis going on and be able to eradicate the issue very quickly.”
Interviewer: “It is worth mentioning one thing that keeps many of these resident halls safe. It was on display next to the burning room on Mount Olympus.
William Longcore, Residence Life: “Every one of our residence halls is fully sprinklered. Individual student rooms have sprinklers, hallways, all of our public areas have sprinklers, and it makes a huge difference to the protection that we’re able to offer to our residents.”
“From when grade school up until college there usually isn’t any fire safety education so I think this is good following the new New York state law to instruct the students on fire safety on the college level. I think it’s very important.”
“An important lesson to learn as the school year gets under way. Keith Kobland, SU News.”