GUIDELINES FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION OF

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (DIAL x2911)

1.       In an emergency, always dial x2911 for College Sheriff assistance.

2.       ASK how you can help BEFORE attempting any rescue or assistance. Ask how the person can best be moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person. Notify sheriff or fire personnel immediately about persons remaining in the building and their locations.

When offering rescue evacuation help to someone with Limited Mobility use the following guidelines:

1.       Attempt a rescue evacuation ONLY if you have had rescue training unless the situation is life threatening. Some persons may have such minimal mobility that lifting them may be dangerous. (See following information regarding Non-Ambulatory persons.)  Clear the exit route of debris so the floor is clear. Be sure the person takes crutches, walkers or other mobility devices with them.

When offering rescue evacuation to persons who are Non-Ambulatory

1.       When evacuating always ask what method of assistance the person prefers. Not all persons can be removed from their wheelchairs and carried safely. Persons with chronic pain, catheter leg bags, fragility, or braces may not be able to extend or move extremities.

2.       Persons may have a physical condition that contraindicates lifting, such as heart conditions or back problems or other severe physical complications. Non-ambulatory persons frequently have respiratory complications or rely on electric artificial respirators. They should be given priority assistance if there is smoke or fumes as their ability to breathe is seriously in danger.

Transferring a Person Out of a Wheelchair:

1.       Check that the individual is not at risk when being transferred or carried. Note the location of the wheelchair and upon exiting the building immediately inform the Sheriff's Office of the location of the wheelchair so they can retrieve it. The wheelchair is essential to the person's mobility and safety.

2.       Use a two-person chair carry: two assistants link arms to form a backrest and grip wrists to form a seat.

3.       Semi-ambulatory person may lean against back of assistant while assistant holds both persons arms over assistant's shoulders. The assistant leans forward slightly to take most of the person's weight.

4.       Two assistants carry person by extremities. One assistant stands behind and wraps arms around person's chest under person's arms. Second assistant stands facing away from the person between their legs and lifts person's legs under knees.

Moving a Person in a Wheelchair Down a Flight of Stairs

1.       LAVC Sheriff has stair evacuation equipment (Evacu-Trac and Stair-Trac). Some equipment is stored adjacent to the second floor Campus Center stairwell. Sheriff's have been trained in the use of this equipment.

2.       If for some reason it is necessary to move the person in their wheelchair without the evacuation equipment, it is desirable to have a minimum of two assisting persons, with four assisting persons preferred for adults with heavy wheelchairs.

3.       Secure the wheelchair seatbelt.

4.       The wheelchair battery may have to be removed first.

5.       The strongest person(s) should be placed at the back of the chair and will grip the chair handles.

6.       The other assisting person(s) will note what parts of the chair are removable (wheels, armrests, footplates) so they do NOT lift the chair by those parts. They will grip the front seat frame and/or non-removable leg rests.

7.       Always keep the wheelchair facing away from the stairs.

8.       ROLL the wheelchair up or down the stairs. Do NOT carry as this may cause back trouble for the assistant. Let the wheelchair carry the weight.

9.       Keep the wheelchair slightly tilted back to keep the wheelchair user secure. However, do not tilt too far as this could cause the assistant to lose balance and pitch forward.

Moving a person in a wheelchair over a curb or single step:

1.       Secure the wheelchair seatbelt.

2.       Just before reaching the edge of the curb or the step turn the wheelchair around so that it is facing away from the edge. You will back the wheelchair down.

3.       The assistant will hold tightly to the handles and slowly back the wheelchair so the rear wheels roll down the edge. The assistant will press a hip against the back of the chair as the rear wheels slowly roll off the edge.

4.       The assistant will press a foot on the anti-tipping bar as the chair is very slowly backed away from the curb. Then the front wheels are slowly lowered to the ground.

5.       Turn the wheelchair around being carefully to avoid the ankles of other people passing by.

Moving a person in a wheelchair over rough terrain:

1.       Secure the wheelchair seatbelt.

2.       When approaching surfaces that may cause a problem for wheels such as grates, soft lawns, pitted floors or sand turn the wheelchair around and go backwards.

3.       Lift the front wheels up very slightly to put the weight of the chair on the rear wheels. Do not tilt the chair too far back.

Evacuating a person who is blind:

1.       Tell the person the nature of the emergency: offer to guide him/her by offering your left/right elbow. This is the preferred, standard method when acting as a sighted guide. Do not grab a visually impaired person's arm.

2.       Be sure the person brings with them all mobility aides such as white canes.

3.       The individual may have a guide dog that may be disoriented. Ask the advice of the person who is blind regarding your level of assistance. The guide dog stays with the individual, if possible.

4.       Give verbal directions to advise about the safest routes. Use compass directions, estimated distances and directional terms to orientate the person. As you walk describe where you are and advise of any obstacles such as overhanging objects, uneven pavements, curbs, or narrow passageways.

5.       When you have reached a safe location, orient the person to where she/he is.  Ask if further assistance is needed.

Evacuating a person who is deaf:

When offering assistance to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing use the following guidelines.

1.       Write a note stating what the emergency is and what the evacuation route is (e.g. "Fire: go out the rear door to parking lot.").

2.       Turn the room lights on and off to gain attention, then indicate through hand gestures or writing on the blackboard what is happening and where to go. 

 EMERGENCY GUIDELINES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES[2]

1.       Be familiar with all standard LAVC emergency evacuation procedures. Please note that the following guidelines are in addition to all other emergency evacuation advice for all individuals.

2.       Meet with LAVC Sheriff staff to review the best evacuation routes for the buildings you will be using.

3.       Convey your personal emergency evacuation needs in writing to the Sheriff Office, your instructor, classmate, supervisor, or co-worker at the beginning of each semester.

4.       Establish a buddy system and an alternate for each class or working area. Instruct these buddies on how to assist you in the event of an emergency. Some persons may need two buddies.

5.       Persons who are deaf may wish to prepare a written card requesting non-verbal emergency assistance and guidance (in writing or gesture).

6.       Persons using power wheelchairs should schedule battery recharging on a regular basis and make sure the wheelchair battery is charged before leaving home.

7.       Provide contact information for accessible transportation services should personal vehicles be inaccessible.

8.       Those persons who cannot speak loudly enough to call for help should carry a whistle or other noisemaker.

9.       If you are blind or have low vision, learn the location of the exits in advance.

10.   If you have a personal attendant, family member or friend who cares for you, make arrangements before an emergency for her/him to check on you immediately after an emergency.

11.   Make copies of your health information, evacuation plans and other emergency documents and give them to your attendant, family member or friend.

12.   Have in place a plan of how to contact significant others in an emergency. Telephones may not be functioning, so devise a back up.  Notify your support network when you go out of town or off campus and when you plan to return. Have them do the same to you should they leave.

In An Emergency on Campus (Dial 2911)

1.       Use the Emergency Buddy System you have set up ahead of time.

2.       Give clear requests for assistance (verbally or in writing) and explicit directions on how you want assistance.

3.       Persons who have mobility disabilities please note that if you are in an LAVC elevator during an emergency or fire, the elevator will automatically return to the first floor and open the doors and shut off.

4.       In the case of a power outage during daylight and you are on the second floor you may choose to wait near a window where there is natural light and access to a working telephone. Be sure to inform others leaving the building of your decision and ask them to inform the Sheriff’s Office of your location.

5.       If there is a power outage and an evacuation has been ordered, or if the outage occurs at night, call LAVC Sheriff at x2911 from a campus phone or *80 from a campus payphone to request evacuation assistance.

6.       If assistance is not immediately available and you cannot exit the building you should remain calm and move to the safest area possible such as an near an enclosed stairwell, the elevator lobby, or an office with the door shut which is a good distance from the hazard and away from falling debris. Rescue personnel will first check all exit corridors and stairwells for those trapped.

7.       Continue to call for help or use a whistle or noisemaker until rescued.