In the event of a building or campus evacuation, local municipal emergency personnel are the only personnel formally trained and authorized to provide physical evacuation assistance to individuals with mobility impairment. In the event danger is imminent and there is no time to wait for municipal personnel, TCSPP suggests the following evacuation options for students, faculty, staff and guests with such impairments:
- Horizontal Evacuation Option: Move a safe distance away from the area of imminent danger to another space of the building or opposite end of the corridor.
- Stay in Place Evacuation Option: Unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior window, and if possible a closing door. If possible, dial 9-1-1. The individual calling emergency personnel should be prepared to tell the 9-1-1 operator his or her name, location, and the nature of the emergency.
- “Buddy System” Evacuation Option: Individuals with a mobility impairment should make prior arrangements with a student, staff, and/or faculty acquaintance (a “Buddy”) of the need for special assistance in the event of a fire alarm or any other situation which may require evacuation. During an evacuation, the “Buddy” should make sure of the individual’s location, then go outside and inform emergency personnel of a person in a specific location who needs assistance in leaving the building.
Most areas on campus are equipped with fire alarm horns/strobes that sound an alarm and flash strobe lights. However, persons with hearing and/or vision impairments may not immediately notice or hear emergency alarms and may need to be alerted of emergency situations. Some persons may need to be alerted to the situation by gestures or by turning the lights switch on and off repeatedly. Emergency instructions can also be communicated by verbalizing, mouthing, or by short, explicit written note. TCSPP employees are encouraged to offer such assistance, as appropriate.