Updated 09/24/2012 11:02 PM
OCC students receive lifesaving lesson
Firefighters were on the scene at Onondaga County Community College. They put out a fire, but it was set on purpose for teaching purposes. As our Iris St. Meran explains they wanted students to learn what to do and not to do in the event this actually happened in their dorm.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Although the fall semester is in full swing at Onondaga Community College, there are some lessons that cannot be taught in the classroom. One of them is how to act quickly in the event of an emergency. Monday, they had to go through a simulation of a smoke filled building.
"It was really scary because it felt like you were being blindfolded without the blindfold. So it was terrifying not to see where you were going," said student Ryan Huff.
This exercise is part of an annual fire safety workshop that is required for all 800 students who live on campus. There haven't been many fires on campus, but anything, like unattended cooking and turn into a dangerous situation fast. So school officials want those who call the campus home to be prepared.
OCC Campus Safety Assistant Director Jackelyn Smithler said, "The importance of drills is to prevent panic if the alarm was to activate and everyone's familiar on what to do and where to go if that happens."
It took less than five minutes for a mock dorm room to be completely engulfed in flames and that's the lesson that emergency personnel are trying to give to these students here to let them know that things can go wrong quickly.
"The room was fully engulfed in a minute and a half to two minutes and the sprinkler also activated in a minute and a half of time from the time of the light. The main point for students to evacuate at the first sign or first noise of the detector," said Onondaga Hill Fire Chief Joshua Fuller.
Students were able to see up close fire dangers and officials hope this is the closest they ever get to an emergency situation.