As part of efforts to comply with occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Emalus Campus undertook a Fire Evacuation Drill on Friday October 16, 2020. This was a first and crucial exercise for the campus to go through. A fire scenario (“fire”) was designed to allow for greater state of alertness on the campus
As part of the drill, the designated Chief Warden, Associate Professor Pierre-Jean Bordahanday, raised a “fire” alarm at 0900. All staff and students participated and were directed to assemble at two designated assembly areas, assisted by two Deputy Fire Assistants and other fire wardens.
The Vanuatu Fire Service also took part in the drill, responding to the “fire” call from the Chief Warden and arrived on the scene in a few minutes after receiving a call to extinguish the “fire” and rescue a member of staff who was trapped.
The main objective of the drill was to get the staff and students to not only understand the procedures and requirements in case of a fire on campus but to emphasise that OHS is everyone’s responsibility and every staff and student has a responsibility to see that they are safe at all times. Campus Director Mr Ruben Markward said “The drill allows for exercise in the coordination of efforts. Cooperation is needed from everyone when authorities are dealing with any fire situation on campus”.
The drill went well. There was a debrief after the exercise and important lessons discussed. The recommendations will be captured in a report and taken into account in any future drills or in the case of an actual fire. The drill will be organised annually.
The Campus Director thanked the staff of the Vanuatu Fire Service for their cooperation with the University of the South Pacific to carry out the fire evacuation drill. He also thanked the USP staff and students for their support and cooperation.