Evacuation Plan for Sunday Mornings
The fire evacuation plan is designed to provide the safest exit strategy for attendees of church and RE programs in the event that the fire detection system is activated. It seeks to evacuate the church in a minimum amount of time by assigning exit paths to evacuees based on their location in the building, thus minimizing congestion at any one exit.
Directions will be provided by “Monitors.” Monitors are: staff, worship associates, ushers, the person running the sound system, and RE teachers and assistants. Directions provided by the monitors should be obeyed without hesitation. The monitors’ primary goal is to protect attendees from physical harm and secondarily to minimize psychological trauma created by the fire.
Distribution of Information
This document must be provided to all staff, RE teachers and assistants and worship associates, as well as being periodically publicized to the congregation at large.
Designated Meeting Spot
In case of an emergency evacuation of the building on Sunday mornings during the service, everyone should gather in Martha Soderberg’s yard at 107 Water Street, directly across Charles Avenue from the Fenn House. Parents and children in RE will be reunited at the evacuation site, *not* in the Fenn House.
All rooms in both buildings have a diagram that shows the location of building exits, as well as the preferred emergency exit route for that room. The diagram also identifies Martha Soderberg’s yard as the designated meeting spot.
The Minister (or the Worship Associate, if the Minister is not present) will initiate the evacuation by telling the congregation to remain seated and asking the ushers to open the doors to the sanctuary to facilitate the evacuation. The ushers should open all sets of doors to the lobby as well as the exit door on the east side of the Sanctuary, and the person running the sound system should prop open the main Sanctuary entrance doors.
While they are doing that, the Minister and the Worship Associate should ascertain the location of any people who may require assistance in evacuating the building and delegate the task of helping these individuals to an usher or appropriate member of the congregation. [See “Those with Mobility Issues.”] Parents with children in RE classes should be informed that they will be reunited with their children at the evacuation site and should *not* go to the classrooms to get them.
When the pathways are clear, the minister will, conditions permitting, instruct the congregation to exit through the door closest to where they are sitting. Those on the east side of the sanctuary should go to the exit door on the east side of the sanctuary (by where the food is served after Sunday services), and those on the west side should go out the main entrance to the Sanctuary. Congregants should file out the doors in an orderly manner and proceed directly to the evacuation site as follows: those exiting through the east Sanctuary door should walk around the Fenn House and along the grass to the left of Duane Court to get to the evacuation site. Those exiting through the main Sanctuary entrance should walk across the front lawn of the Fenn House.
To make evacuation as quick and safe as possible, no one is to return to his or her seat to collect objects left behind or to try to find relatives or friends inside the church.
The Minister and Worship Associate should be the last to leave the Sanctuary. They will make a final sweep of all rooms, ensuring that no one else is left in the sanctuary or other areas of the building, and closing all doors.
Those with Mobility Issues
The minister will have assigned an usher or other appropriate person(s) to assist those with mobility issues.
Those who may slow down the evacuation should wait until others are out. This is the safest method for everyone, as people naturally tend to start panicking and pushing if the evacuation does not proceed as quickly as they expect it to.
People with mobility issues should be escorted to the furthest corner of the patio area in front of the Sanctuary (by the large CVUUS sign). From that spot, they can be easily identified by emergency personnel and assisted in further exiting.
If the patio is unavailable, they should leave through the east door of the Sanctuary and proceed to the parking lot. Emergency personnel will be informed when they arrive that people are in the parking lot needing assistance.
Toddlers and Infants in the Nursery
The Nursery Care Provider will oversee the evacuation of the nursery and is in charge of releasing infants and toddlers to their parents at the evacuation site. The Lead Usher will be aware of the number of children in the nursery on any given Sunday and, if needed, will provide extra assistance in evacuating the nursery. The children will be escorted out the nursery door. Toddlers and infants should be calmly reassured of their safety, explained the situation and taken either by the hand, or carried to the evacuation site to reunite with their parents.
Parents of children in the nursery are encouraged to sit on the east side of the sanctuary but should exit out the east door of the sanctuary with others rather than attempting to reach the nursery through the kitchen area.
Childcare workers should have attendance/sign in sheets for any given day and should take these with them to the evacuation site. Upon reaching the evacuation site, the Nursery Care Provider should check the sheet to make sure that all children are accounted for. In the event of any discrepancy, the Director of Religious Exploration should be notified immediately.
Parents assuming responsibility for children at the evacuation site must check in with the Nursery Care Provider and have their name checked off on the attendance list.
Religious Exploration Classes
The Director of Religious Exploration, or designated substitute, will oversee the evacuation of the Religious Exploration classes. RE teachers and assistants should be informed of the procedure during their orientation. They should be familiar with the nearest exit path and be aware of a secondary path should that one be blocked by fire, smoke or other hazards.
Teachers should tell the children to remain calm and go in an orderly fashion (perhaps with younger children holding hands) to Martha Soderberg’s yard, across Charles Ave. from the Fenn House, where they will be reunited with their parents. Children are to exit without taking extra time to gather belongings such as coats or toys.
Teachers should take attendance at the beginning of the class and, in the event of an evacuation, take the attendance sheet with them to the evacuation site. Upon reaching the evacuation site, they should check the sheet to make sure that all children are accounted for. In the event of any discrepancy, the Director of Religious Exploration should be notified immediately.
The DRE or, in the DRE’s absence, the adult substituting for the DRE that day, will oversee a final sweep through the classrooms and bathrooms, verifying that everyone has been evacuated appropriately and closing all doors.
Parents assuming responsibility for children at the evacuation site must check in with the child’s RE teacher and have their name checked off on the attendance list.
Notification to Emergency Personnel
The alarm monitoring company will automatically notify 911 of the emergency.
Dismissal of Evacuated Persons
All evacuees should wait in or near the evacuation site until Emergency Personnel (fire or police) or the Minister tells them to either return to the building or leave the area.