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Evaluating Emergency Evacuations

It is no secret that Camas has been undergoing major changes involving evacuation drills, the number of security guards, and increasing safety standards for students and staff.

Meetings during the last month, including administration and staff, took place in an attempt to better the procedures that students and teachers follow during fires and other scenarios that involve people leaving the building.

The old plan had students meeting their first period teachers at a designated spot on Cardon Field. Being overcrowded and time consuming, administration has changed the new meeting location to different quadrants around the building. Portables, band and choir, and a few other classes will continue to meet on the football field, however, new meeting locations include the concrete pad between baseball fields, the horseshoe-shaped, grassy area in front of the school, and the tennis courts.

The driving force behind these changes was sparked during an impromptu fire drill in January. Needing to perform a drill every month, the Camas administration team decided to use this opportunity for drill purposes. “We spent over 20 minutes completing the drill, it seemed like too long,” Camas principal Liza Sejkora commented.

Asking to remain anonymous, a Camas student agrees with the new plan. “If a crazy person were to walk into the school under the old system, they could pull the fire alarm and send everyone to one place with only 2 exits for 2,500-ish people.” This was exactly the case during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A shooter claimed the lives of seventeen students, sending fourteen more to hospitals, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.

Other concerns came forward when administration realized that some students would walk from one end of the building to the other before finally exiting through the doors closest to Cardon. Under the new plan, students will go with their current teacher to their new meeting location and security and administration will perform the final sweeps of the hallway.

Associate Principal Owen Sanford is taking the lead on these changes and will continue to monitor the reactions from students, staff, and community members to better the safety standards on campus.



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