Fire Drill

I try not to be angry ranty disabled woman but sometimes the wrong buttons get pushed…

We recently had a fire drill at work; it’s a pretty large building with 3 fire lifts to evacuate wheelchair users in an emergency. I left the building immediately using the lift nearest me but straight afterwards an able bodied woman used the lift, effectively delaying the evacuation of 3 other wheelchair users from the floors above me.

Personally I find it goes against all natural instinct to push myself into a lift when a fire alarm is sounding, it’s quite unnerving to enter a confined space while alarms are sounding and then relying on electrics and hydraulics to keep working the event of an actual fire. I’d much rather have the freedom to use a staircase and rely upon my own legs to walk, run or jump down the stairs.

Has she not seen Towering Inferno?? It doesn’t end well for characters stuck in the lift. Has she never noticed that every bright red sticker near a lift screams “Do not use in the event of an emergency!”

Fifteen minutes later we were allowed to re enter the building, the main lifts were overcrowded with people queuing so I went around the corner using the smaller fire lift again. Initially it was just me and a woman audibly wheezing with breathing difficulties waiting for the lift to reach the ground floor.

As we waited dozens of people passed us on their way to the staircase but one fit young able man stopped with us and said aloud to his mate, “I can’t be arsed to walk 5 flights of stairs, I’m taking the lift”.

It took about another minute for the lift to arrive, a long slow 60 seconds with us waiting in strained silence but for the sound of her wheezing.

Stupidly, I bit my lip in anger & astonishment rather than ask “Seriously?? Have you no shame?”

I shan’t be so mute next time.


About Shannon Murray

I am an actress, broadcaster, writer and lawyer; not really that unusual but I am also paraplegic as a result of an accident as a teenager. This is the place where I ramble on about random stuff.
This entry was posted in Disability, Randomness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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