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Fire drill procedures change, A.L.I.C.E. drill planned for Friday

Amber Kelly, Opinions Editor

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After recent events in Parkland FL. and other schools across the nation, students now have to wait for an announcement to dismiss them before exiting the building during a fire. In correlation with law enforcement, schools are now putting even safer measures in place for students.

Students first experienced the new fire drill procedure on Sept. 24 during third hour. During the drill, Vice Principal Laura Lemke now will go announce over the PA, “This is a drill. This is a drill.”

“What we’re trying to practice now is: unless you see fire, pause, find out if you really should be stepping out into the hallways,” Lemke said. “That’s why the secondary part of that is ‘This is a drill. This is a drill,’ so you’d know that if it’s not a drill, most people would be left to scan the area to see if they smell smoke or see any fire. And if not, it might be good to stay put for a while.”

Lemke has collaborated with local law enforcement to create a new kind of drill, using new techniques, such as A.L.I.C.E.; Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.

“Right now we’re planning with Officer Cole and central office. We’ve been talking with the fire chief and the police chief to launch some different kinds of drills,” Lemke said. “There’s a whole concept called A.L.I.C.E. So we’re going to try practicing some of the five components of that concept in different ways.”

Lemke is not able to say much about the new kind of drill yet, but she is excited about the possibilities that the drill provides. More information about the event will be provided in a letter sent home.

“What I’m excited about is we’re going to try it and we’re going to give you guys opportunities to ask questions and give feedback. Because you, as a student body, are taking part ownership of this is really valuable,” Lemke said. “There’s going to be a letter going home about what we’re planning to do on Oct. 5, because we want it publicised enough that people aren’t scared or frightened. But at the same time not so public somebody knows how to make us vulnerable. It’s coming up super soon and we’re trying to put the final touches on that.”

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