Fire!

We had a fire at work today.

Total building evacuation, loads of firefighters swarming all over the place, smoke, you name it. OK, it was only a burned-out water heater in the basement that set off the smoke detectors, but it still counts. As Chief Fire Warden for our two floors, I was the last of us out of the building – and as that meant escorting someone on crutches down seven flights of stairs, I have to say I was in there for a bit longer than I was comfortable with. There’s a learning point there, and we have to look at how we deal with that situation. My favourite is for me NOT to be the last out, but I suspect that bit of the plan isn’t going to change.

With everyone – including me – safely out, our fire wardens have a secondary duty: Our assembly point is in a small park with roads all around, and we have to marshall the people to stop them getting run over. With 450 people and a small park, that’s quite a challenge – 20% want to get back into the office, 15% are thinking of sneaking off for a fag and another 15% are wondering if they can get away with going to the pub. The remainder are queuing for a cup of tea in Mungo’s Tea Caravan, oblivious to the fact that there’s no going to the loo until the fire brigade let us back in the building.

I think after an hour of that, I’m now fully qualified to herd cats.

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