Job well done

There’s perhaps nothing more frightening than being roused from your bed in the wee hours of the morning by police or firefighters pounding on the front door with orders to get out.
Still in the fog of sleep, you may have mere minutes to basically leave with the clothes on your back, let alone remembering to grab important papers, or photos albums, or even the family pet.
That’s precisely the scenario residents on Keating Avenue near J.W. Walker School, as well as guests at the nearby Adventure Inn and Super 8 Motel, had to face around 1 a.m. last Thursday when a gas leak suddenly ignited a fire at the school.
It’s a situation that easily could have led to widespread confusion, if not panic, but by all accounts last week’s evacuation went smoothly and orderly—no doubt thanks to the quick response and professionalism of our emergency personnel.
In a twist of irony, the local Municipal Control Group had practised an emergency drill just the week before. While an actual state of emergency did not have to be declared in this case, it’s comforting to know procedures are in place to handle such incidents, whether it’s establishing a control room at the town hall, setting up an evacuation centre at the arena, or managing media relations.
In a nutshell, everyone knew what to do—and did so properly.
Obviously, the situation might have been far different had children been in school at the time. Nonetheless, all involved deserve kudos for their response and actions to avert what could have been a real disaster.
In the meantime, last week’s incident serves as a telling reminder to residents of the importance of being prepared for an emergency. As Keating Avenue residents abruptly found out, you just never know when you might have to flee your home on very short notice.