Fire drills are a life-and-death matter

(U-WIRE) ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Dear God: It’s me again.

I normally don’t have huge concerns or problems worrying about death, but a recent event has got me worried.

I just turned 20, and I’m not ready to die.

But something happened at the end of last semester that has me fearing for my life.

You see, God, I, along with a few other people on my floor, slept through a fire drill.

At first, I was relieved when I found out the next morning from a neighbor that I had the chance of getting a full night’s sleep.

But after thinking about it, I wasn’t relieved. The fact that I could have possibly slept through a fire was not comforting at all.

At New Jersey’s Seton Hall University last week, three, 18-year-old students died after a fire burned down the school’s Boland Hall. It also injured six students.

New Jersey requires its colleges to conduct two fire drills a semester. Boland Hall did not have any fire drills last semester, which left many of its students unsure of where to go during the fire. Some students climbed or jumped out windows because of the confusion.

So God, even though I know how to leave my residence hall during emergencies, next time can you make sure I actually do get out? The rest of the 640 freshmen that lived in Boland Hall who escaped were lucky, and I want to be as fortunate if I’m put in the same dangerous situation.

The third floor of Boland Hall was completely damaged – the students who jumped out windows to safety felt it was their only hope of surviving. They could have benefited from help of resident assistants or others who weren’t in as much jeopardy.

God, I could have benefited from the help, too. So next time there’s a fire drill, I could use the assistance even more – I may lose a little sleep and complain about the below-zero weather, but the reward of continuing my life is probably worth it.

-Deidre AsheThe Bona Venture (St. Bonaventure U.)

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