If you are faced with a form of immediate danger (e.g., fire, gas leak, and major structural damage) you should begin to evacuate. Additionally, if you are instructed by Pasadena City College (PCC) Police, Facilities Management, or other emergency personnel you should also begin to evacuate. You should begin your evacuation and exit with caution, and report any observed conditions which may interfere with the evacuation of the building to PCC Police (626) 585-7484 or Facilities Services (626) 585-7277.
If you can safely do so, gather your keys, flashlight, portable radio, etc. You can re-enter the building once it is checked and cleared by authorities. You can refer to the Evacuation section of this guide on evacuation procedures and how to evacuate disabled persons. When you evacuate you should proceed to your designated evacuation assembly area while avoiding hazards such as downed electrical wires and falling debris. Try to keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. Please be sure not to leave the assembly area until you have received help and instructions.
Evacuation for Persons with Functional Needs:
During an evacuation, rescue personnel should check all exit corridors and exit stairwells for any stranded person. Please be ready to physically assist in the evacuation of disabled persons. If the emergency is not imminent and there are no problems in evacuating the person, place him/her next to or in a stairwell, and stay with the stranded person. Elevators may be used to evacuate disabled ONLY after it has been declared safe to use. If assistance cannot be located, call PCC Police (626) 585-7484 or Facilities Services (626) 585-7277 and ask for assistance. Be sure to always ask how you can help before providing any 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.
Evacuating Visually Impaired Persons:
- You should explain to the person the nature of the emergency. Then offer to guide him/her by offering your left or right elbow. Be sure not to grab the person’s arm.
- Be sure the person brings with them all mobility aids such as white canes. 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.
- 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, curbs, etc.
- When you have reached a safe location, orient the person to where she/he is and ask if any further assistance is needed.
Evacuating Hearing Impaired Persons:
- Write a note explaining the emergency and the evacuation route (e.g., Fire: go out the rear door to a parking lot).
- Another way to gain attention is by turning the room lights on and off if it is safe to do so. Then you may indicate through hand gestures what is happening and what to do.
Evacuating Persons with Limited Mobility (e.g., using crutches, canes, or walkers):
For evacuation purposes, such persons should be treated as if they were injured. Carrying options include using a two-person lock arm position or having the person sit in a sturdy chair, preferably with arms. See "Transferring a person" below.
Evacuating Persons Who Are Non-ambulatory:
- Be sure to ask what method of assistance a person prefers.
- Not all persons can be removed from their wheelchairs and carried safely. Be aware that the person may have a physical condition that prevents lifting such as heart conditions or back problems or other severe physical complications.
- If you do transfer someone out of their wheelchair, remember the location of the wheelchair, and upon exiting the building immediately inform PCC Police the location of the wheelchair so they can retrieve it.
- You should give priority assistance to people with electric artificial respirators if there are smoke or fumes.
- Be aware that persons with chronic pain, catheter leg bags, fragility, or braces may not be able to extend or move their extremities.
Transferring a Person:
You should first check that the individual is not at risk when being transferred or carried. If they are not at risk, you can use these lifts/carrying methods:
- Pack-strap Carry: A semi-ambulatory person may lean against assistants back while the assistant holds both person's arms over assistant's shoulders. The assistant leans forward slightly to take most of the person's weight.
- Two-handed Seat: Two assistants link arms to form a backrest and grip wrists to form a seat.
- Two-person Carry: Two assistants carry a person by the extremities. One assistant stands behind and wraps arms around person's chest under person's arms. The second assistant stands facing away from the person between their legs and lifts person's legs under knees with each arm, or can cross the person's legs over and carry them to one side, thus freeing one hand to open doors, etc.
Moving a person in a wheelchair down or up a flight of stairs:
- If a person needs to be moved in their wheelchair, it is recommended to have at least two people assisting or in the case of adults with heavy wheelchairs, four people.
- Be sure to secure the wheelchair seat belt.
- In some cases, the wheelchair battery may have to be removed.
- Wheelchairs have many movable weak parts that were not constructed to withstand the stress of lifting (e.g., the seat bar, footplates, wheels, movable armrests). The strongest person(s) should grip the chair handles at the back. Other assisting person(s) will grip the front seat frame or non-removable leg rests.
- Be sure to always keep the wheelchair facing away from the stairs.
- It is important to roll the wheelchair up or down the stairs. The person you are assisting may exhibit back trouble if you attempt to carry the wheelchair.
- In order to keep the wheelchair user secure, it is important to keep the wheelchair slightly tilted back. However, be sure not to tilt too far as this could cause the person in the wheelchair to lose balance and pitch forward.