Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In the event of fire....or other emergencies

I was reading an article about an evacuation at an assisted living home yesterday when I recalled my experience in a hotel fire years ago.

The first thing they shut off are the elevators. My friends and I, all wheelchair users, were on the seventh floor. We couldn't get out and had to stay up there until the fire was put out.

Apparently one of the residents yesterday who lives across from the second floor apartment that caught on fire walked down the stairs and carried her wheelchair. I guarantee you I would have hightailed it down those hotel steps if I could have too.

The fire chief talked about the challenge the evacuation and the high temperatures created.

"We had people in wheelchairs, walkers. people on oxygen, we had to get them out because of the heat and the weather we have some stuff going on with that, just keeping people rested and getting water into them and that. We did a tremendous operation here."

Just thought I'd mention a product I've seen, called the Comfort Carrier Evacuation System. I tell all my friends who are EMT's or firefighters about it. It's a sling with handles that improves leverage for carrying people who can't walk. They even make an Evacuation Chair Alternative for organizations that can be placed on a wall, for instance, in the event of an emergency.

They also make the Comfort Carrier Travel & Recreation Sling, which has many uses: airline travel, broken elevators, lifts, inaccessible places, etc.

Just spreading the word because safety planning for people with disabilities is important.

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