View Full Version : wheelchair question
06-21-2003, 06:34 PM
since a person shouldn't use an elevator in a fire, how does a person in a wheelchair escape from an upper floor?
If the choice were "die in a fiery inferno" and "risk the elevator," which would you choose?
When I worked on a upper floor, part of fire drill routine was to designate someone to be in charge of making sure that two people carried the guy (in my case, it was a guy) down.
I believe several people were carried out of the WTC.
I guess a handicapped person alone on an upper floor in a burning building would have to make a decision...
06-21-2003, 07:41 PM
There's not usually a choice to make, elevators are tied into the fire alarm system and don't operate after the alarm has gone off. It's either be carried down, or a firefighter can override the system and use the elevator if they are sure it's safe.
06-21-2003, 09:09 PM
Sometimes they don't escape.
A quadraplegic who worked for the New York City branch of my company was too big and heavy (and limp) to be carried down the stairs of the WTC. About 4 or 5 people tried, but there just wasn't enough room and they just couldn't physically do it.
So he died there.
06-21-2003, 09:20 PM
Yeah, we did the carry thing in our building for a while, but the elevator problems on a normal day and frequent false alarms made that really suck, so the guy and his manager did some string-pulling to get him an office on the first floor in a spot that was equal to his position within the company (near the meeting rooms with only one nieghbor and big windows).
06-22-2003, 12:08 AM
My friend and former boss is wheelchair bound due to a staph infection inside the bone that they had to amputate his right leg just below the knee. He can stand on his good leg, but he can't walk even with crutches. So he's in the chair. I also knew someone whose MS forced her to be in a chair about 3/4 of the time.
They've gone through these scenarios in their heads a lot, for obvious reasons...
Like j.c. said, usually they get a couple/three/four people who are the designated legs for the wheelchair person in the event of an emergency.
Failing that, they sometimes get them a ground-floor office as Mynn said.
Failing that, non-quads often resort to crawling out. It's better than being dead. :P
Still, like Broomstick says, sometimes they just don't get out.
My friend once got a job on the 44th floor of the Qwest building in Denver. They refused to designate "legs" for him and wouldn't get him a ground floor office either. He got himself another job pretty quick. Their loss, he's a pretty good software guy.
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