Let me tell you about this week's emergency fire drill.
We had been warned in the morning, by our OHS officer, that there would be a drill sometime in the next few days, but he wasn't telling us when.
At around 11 am the alarm started: woop woop woop pause woop woop woop pause...
Checking my handy laminated wall chart with visual representation of the bell sounds (that's it there...blurry.....but can you see the solid red line and the broken one?)
I determined that this was the siren for a 'lockdown'.
"Quick everyone, out of sight of the door!"
The two students and the other staff member hunkered down in a corner whilst I (bravely) switched off the lights and locked the door. We settled in to wait.
The siren continued: woop woop woop pause woop woop woop pause etc etc
After a few minutes, having fielded the obligatory questions from students about whether this was real or a drill, we heard an extremely noisy and chaotic sounding class descended the stairway outside near our window. We all looked at each other.
"Are you sure this is a lockdown?" asked the other staff member. "Perhaps we should evacuate?"
"What? Right into the path of the crazed gunman?" I replied. She acknowledged that this may be unwise so we waited a little longer. We heard more noises outside, children running and squealing, quite a bit of laughter.....
"If this was a fire we would be dead," my colleague observed.
"Nonsense," quoth I,"If it were a lockdown and we'd followed those fools outside we would definitely be dead! Anyway, don't worry, if it is a fire, once they realise our names have not been ticked off the roll, they'll send someone to rescue us."
woop woop woop pause.....
After a while the siren stopped. It was very quiet. The children looked at me.
"Everyone must be out on the oval Mrs A," whimpered one.
"OR," I postulated,"They could all be hiding under their desks very quietly like you're supposed to do during a lockdown!"
More minutes crawled past. A school bell sounded.
"There, that's the all clear," I announced, only to realise that it was merely the scheduled lunch bell.
I crawled over to the phone and tried to call Reception to find out what was going on, but they were obviously under their desks too.
Eventually we heard the sound of pupils returning to the building. My colleague looked at me and I at her: "They didn't come and rescue us!" she said.
Later in the staffroom I approached the teacher who would have had our names on her roll.
"What happened?" I demanded,"No-one came to rescue us!" She laughed heartily.
"There was such confusion," she said," I knew where you were and what must have happened. I just handed them the roll and told them you were all dead."
Thanks a LOT!!!!! :-D
It turned out that the fire brigade now has control of our bells and that they had changed the signal type. No-one had informed us so the laminated safety sheets are all WRONG! Half the school were in lockdown and the other half were careering around the oval in confusion and gales of hysterical laughter. The Principal was NOT amused and (apparently, I didn't see him as I was under a desk) stormed around shouting unintelligible announcements over the megaphone. Heads will roll!!
The classic comment of the afternoon came from a year 9 pupil who announced,
"They should have an alarm that goes FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE and another one that goes HIDE HIDE HIDE HIDE!!"
Not so silly really.