This exercise was part of our ongoing commitment to safety and to ensure St. John’s and the Waterloo commune are prepared for a crisis which requires the evacuation of all people from our campus.
The plan involved a staged incident with chemicals in one of the science labs and resulting in injuries to a teacher and students. The chemicals added to the complexity of the operation and required additional equipment and resources to be called in. One of the goals was to use some of the very specialized equipment available to emergency services that is hardly ever used.
In addition to students and staff evacuating, we had students, parents and staff members involved in the exercise in specific roles, including as observers (both on campus and at Waterloo Tennis), victims or people calling the commune with a specific script to see how the commune handles questions in such a situation.
The exercise proved our emergency systems work very well and the commune was impressed with the maturity and discipline of all our students involved in the exercise. We will have a debrief meeting with the commune to evaluate the exercise and to determine actions to further improve the preparedness of the commune’s emergency services to handle situations such as we practiced yesterday.
We are grateful to the commune for the opportunity to participate in this elaborate safety exercise and congratulate all our students on their responsible, mature and disciplined behavior.