Investigations have revealed that the fire that ravaged the *** Girls’ School Saturday was caused by five students. The girls ignited the fire in the underground floor of the school while playing with a coal holder and then ran away from the scene to their classrooms when the blaze picked up…..
In the past
In the previous years during this season we were under the threat of floods. That was after a really bad one that had rushed in from nowhere and vanished with its toll. It left the public and authorities aghast, and subsequently, alert.
Again we faced a worse flood without having much done (as far as I know) in the name of precautionary measures, except for the dinghies that had been deployed at certain ‘crucial’ points of the city.
Entry of a new villain
And this year the opposite element is the villain. Fire! Fortunately nothing went wrong all through the scorching summer heat when the air conditioners, that were knocking themselves out, were expected to blaze out.
Now when the mercury has fallen, we worry about fire. Queer!
Once again the ball is in the court of the concerned authorities. They are expected to somehow see to it that not one more school is ‘ignited’ in the near future. It must be sheer clairvoyance that has foreboded them that the succeeding months are set apart exclusively for fire accidents. Well, they have to do their duty.
Consequently we have been witnessing frequent inspections, mock drills, installation of more equipment, entry of new Emergency Exits, special training to the staff, demonstrations to the students on where and how to flee in case of a fire… Good job!
I could have easily made this post something like ’How to Avert a Fire’ because within a week after that accident (luckily not our school) I am almost an expert on Fire & Safety.
In short, these are some of the benefits: 1) We have picked up a lot of new terms related to fire. 2) Our girls will run for their life by default the moment they hear anything that sounds like an alarm or just the syllable ‘fi..’.
But what if it is a different disaster next time? God forbid!
The only one who seemed to take all the drama seriously was the little girl who innocently asked, “Teacher, this week will there be a fire in our school too?”
In the light of a fire (the sermon part)
We become more concerned and vigilant for a few weeks that follow a calamity. Usually nothing happens. The fear passes and we relax while the next disaster brews. Accidents are accidental. They lurk in the least expected hide-outs to pounce upon us when we are least prepared. God forbid!
This all we could do: Train our students to take care of themselves without losing their presence of mind during any type of emergency – tsunami, flood, earthquake or fire. Never panic (easier said than done). Be prepared for the worst in the future, without letting that loom over and spoil our present.