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 [1.14.1] Fire Drill at JCMU Last updated 
14 Jan 1999 

Fire Drill 14 Jan 1999
They said we were having a fire drill today and I expected the typical routine: hear loud noisy thing, run outside, stand in the cold for 5-10 minutes, go back inside. That's definitely not what we did today!

We got a visit from the Hikone Fire Station captain and a few members of his "crew". He explained to us that there was a fire extinguisher in every room in addition to the big water hoses in the hallway. Then, he said that we were going to practice putting out fires with extinguishers, because sometimes people don't know how to use them properly.

The captain first tried to get 5 volunteers. Next, he explained how to activate the extinguishers. Pull the pin, squeeze the handle -- anyone can do that part. The trick, he explained, is to point the nozzle toward the bottom of the fire. You don't want to stand too close initially, because if it's a grease/oil fire, you could propel the flaming grease/oil with the initial blast. Stand further back, squeeze the handle, and walk toward the fire as the 15-second burst dwindles. Dr. Douglass Scott (resident director at JCMU) translated the captain's words into English for those of us who are still beginners at this Japanese stuff.

After everyone had heard the explanation, the captain and his assistant poured a petroleum-based substance into a bin. Next, the bin was (see if you can guess) lit on fire. One of the volunteers then proceeded to put out the fire. (pictured: Bob Trombley).

The fire was lit four more times, and four more people put it out (successfully). Here's Lindsay Proctor trying her best to extinguish the flames.

After the five volunteers had put out the five fires, the fire captain thanked us, and life as usual resumed at JCMU.

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