The sight of flames and black smoke billowing from the balcony of the 12-storey Albukhary Building of the Wawasan Open University (WOU) main campus today drew the curiosity and attention of the passing motorists.
Thankfully however there was no cause for panic as this was all part of the Fire Drill that formed the highlight of the two-day WOU Safety and Health Campaign 2013.
At the ringing of the fire alarm at around 10.00am, over 150 staff as well as workers of the University ‘rushed’ to safety, heading straight to the nearest emergency exit staircase and quickly clearing out of the buildings. All of them gathered at the designated Emergency Assembly area, the field in front of the Homestead mansion.
The main campus was suddenly abuzz with activity as the fire engines came ‘charging’ in and the firefighters quickly sprung into action, drawing out their ladders, ropes and hoses.
The exercise involved a total of 17 firefighters from the Perak Road and Beach Street Fire and Rescue Departments (Bomba); they were supported by two fire engines.
The firefighters managed to “rescue” staff Mohd Faizal Ibrahim (GSA) who sustained “head injuries” from the balcony of the Homestead, using ropes and ladder to bring him down from the second floor. They also assisted another staff, Audrey Lisa Yeong (ETP), who suffered “leg injuries”, ferrying her away to safety with the support of a stretcher.
Following the Fire Drill, there was a hands-on demonstration on how to douse fires using fire extinguishers by the firefighters at the car parking space near the main gate entrance. A few of the staff gamely took the opportunity to test their skills on putting out the fire.
The objective of the Fire Drill was to familarise members of WOU’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) and First Aid Team (FAT) with the necessary procedures, and the staff with the safety protocol in emergency situations.
The WOU Safety and Health Campaign 2013 was launched a day earlier by Dr Seah Soo Aun, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations), and Chairman of the University’s Safety and Security Committee.