Principal Conrad is leading an effort to improve fire drills at Andover High by bringing evacuation time under 4 minutes.

This comes after the first fire drill of the school year a few weeks ago and observations by the Fire Chief and school administration that the time it takes for everyone to get out of the building should be reduced to improve safety and emergency preparedness. Principal Conrad made an announcement to the school about the need to be quicker and thanked the school for taking the drill seriously.

Regarding the shorter time Principal Conrad said “There is no exact time, but the fire chief says within 4 minutes, so that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Other than timing he said “There are problems with flow and bottlenecks, for example in the front lobby everyone converges there. Many of these problems are systematic and not a matter of the people.”

On that note Mr. Conrad added some things that he sees that he would like to see more of. ” I think lots of people take the drills seriously and that’s very important, it helps when people can move quickly and quietly out of the building and some teachers like Mr. Bledsoe, actually take students to go see the spot for their classroom. I think this makes students more aware of where to go for drills and actual evacuations”

To elaborate on what the administration is going to do to make fire drills better Mr. Conrad said “We need to improve the systems, clearly establish who is going where, which stairways and exits and hallways should be used and also observe where people gather.”

His final message to the whole AHS community was to “thank people for taking this seriously and understanding its importance.”

By Nick Gilpin