Emergency Evacuations for Persons with Disabilities
Members of the McGill community volunteer as part of Evacuation Teams. They work together to facilitate the safe evacuation of building occupants. A procedure has been established to assist those with a permanent or temporary disability so that they may exit a building safely during an emergency.
Students, faculty and staff with a permanent or temporary disability have the primary responsibility for requesting assistance. If you are a person with a permanent or temporary disability, it is important that you prepare yourself in the event of an emergency. You will need to decide what you want to do quickly and communicate your needs to the people around you (professors, students and/or the evacuation team members, including floor fellows in residences).
You are responsible for identifying evacuation routes from each location you frequent. The evacuation team for each building can assist you with this task. Please contact your Building Director to begin your preparations. You should meet with the evacuation team members of the floor where you reside, work or study.
What to do when an alarm sounds in the building
Make sure the evacuation team can easily locate you. Please ask for help from your professors, classmates or coworkers to evacuate in case no member of the evacuation team is on your floor.
Please note that professor and lecturers are responsible to assist with the emergency evacuation of their class.
If you have a hearing impairment
The evacuation team has been asked to assist you by getting your attention, communicating the emergency by whatever means necessary and making sure someone accompanies you out of the building, to a safe location.
If you're a student with a hearing impairment, watch this video for further fire safety information.
If you have a visual impairment
The evacuation team has been asked to assist you by explaining what is happening and by making sure someone is leading you safely out of the building to a location familiar to you.
This may involve waiting for the main traffic flow to go by to avoid accidents; informing you of what is going on in the immediate environment; and warning you about obstacles or stairs (number and final step).
If you're a student with a visual impairment, watch this video for further fire safety information.
If you have a mobility impairment but are ambulatory (walking with great difficulty)
The evacuation team will ask you if you need assistance and they will make sure someone will escort you safely out and away from the building after the main traffic flow has gone by.
In the event of an extreme emergency (fire or heavy smoke in proximity), people may ask you if and how you wish to be picked up. However, you must realize that they have not received training to lift and carry a person.
If you wish to be seated once outside, they will try to assist you.
If you're a student with a mobility impairment, watch this video for further safety information.
If you are mobility impaired with no capacity to walk down stairs (e.g. severe heart problem, use of a wheelchair)
When the alarm rings, if possible, phone security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown Campus) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald Campus) to inform them of your location, circumstance and intentions.
The evacuation team has been instructed to ask and help you to identify the location where you will wait for evacuation. They are not trained to lift and carry you out of the building. Please ask someone to remain in the building with you until trained rescue workers arrive from the fire department. Make sure someone both from the evacuation team or a volunteer has noted your location, floor and the stairwell and, that this person will notify the authorities of your need for assistance.
If you can evacuate the building at ground level, an evacuation team member or a volunteer should escort you to a safe location away from the building.
In the event of an extreme emergency (fire or heavy smoke in proximity), people may ask you if and how you wish to be picked up. If you are carried out they will look for a location away from the building where they can safely put you down.
Note: each person who uses a wheelchair and is regularly on University property should individually request instructions about evacuation procedures.
Waiting for rescue workers
Once the fire department is informed of your location, it will decide when and if it will send rescuers in to assist you. If it believes you are in a safe location, the fire department may decide to leave you at that location to better concentrate its efforts where needed.