Thursday, September 30, 2010

Code Red

This afternoon I was working away on the computer when I heard the overhead speaker call a Code Red on the building adjacent to where I work. I jumped up, grabbed our fire extinguisher, and ran over there. Got around the corner to see the rent-a-cop sitting at a table doing paperwork.

Me: This was a drill?!

Him: Yeah. (glad I came so they could fill a blank that someone showed up)

Me: Then why didn’t you say DRILL? I wouldn’t have lugged the extinguisher over here if I knew it was a drill.

Him: (old guy – not paying attention) (has me sign the form that I showed up)

Me: Do I at least get a sticker for it?

Him: Honey, you know I don’t have any money to give you.

About this time there are people carrying their purses coming out from the stairwell. They stop and look at me and say, “It’s just a drill? You should have said that.” (as if I had something to do with any of this) I told them I didn’t know anything about it and pointed to the extinguisher that I brought with me.

That’s when the rent-a-cop looked up and said, “She didn’t say DRILL?”

The valet guys laughed at me when I walked back by them. They asked me what I thought I was going to do. I told them I was going to put out the fire. I think they would've laughed if I wasn't so serious when I told them what I was going to do. Then I asked if they'd used one before, raising the extinguisher. They hadn't.

I was shocked. I thought everybody has used an extinguisher before. We had to do it in high school Chemistry; it was a requirement. The local fire station built a 4x4 fire pit in the front yard of the school, lit fires, and we took turns with an extinguisher putting it out. It took the scary out of what really isn't a big deal.

I don't usually go to the drills. When I was a CNA I went to all of the Code Red calls because I was the only one who could run with the extinguisher. But I've not even thought about grabbing the extinguisher since then - but, then again, I've not been around anywhere they've called a Code Red either.

Is this just me? Have any of you pulled the pin and aimed for the base of the fire? Was it not a requirement for anybody else?

I went back to work, but wasn't nearly as productive as I was before I was interrupted.I was going to save the world, but I didn’t even get to pull the pin out of the extinguisher. My superhero skills will have to be used another day.

And now I'm worried that I'm going to have to build my own fire for Baby when she's in high school so she can learn the PASS acronym and grow up to save the world from fire drills, too.


Teacher Angst said...

Relax! You aren't the only one. I teach my students regularly about it every year. As a teen, the local fire dept. at GE set a fire pit up for anyone who wanted to learn about using an extinguisher. Easy as pie. However, we have fire/tornado/secuurity drills here regularly and we are never made aware.

Marian said...

I have!

Cerulean Bill said...

PASS? Je ne sais pas....

Kelly H. said...

Nope, we never got to do that! Sounds like fun! Code Red for you means fire? Code Red for us means someone in the building has a gun and wants to kill you. And in our school district, they always call Code Red without telling us it's a that we take it seriously. So basically for about 5 minutes, we all think we're going to die. It's loads of fun.

Anonymous said...

Never had any experience with Code Reds. Only experience ever had with fire extinguishers was one didn't work & several million dollars worth of equipment burned up, probably because it didn't. And... being on oxygen, I'm supposed to have a fire extinguisher. I do. Does it work? I don't know. Do I know how to us it? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, on your win over LSU!