Due to COVID-19, all classes and school activities have been moved online. Although all of the students, teachers, staff members, and administrators are working from a safe distance, Jamesville-DeWitt’s principal, Paul Gasparini, hasn’t slacked off when it comes to fire drills.
“I want to make sure that even when students are at home they are ready and prepared to evacuate at any given moment,” stated Gasparini.
Everyone at JDHS was forced to join a class on Google Classroom where Gasparini posts about fire drills and any actual fires at the high school, notifying students when they have to evacuate their homes. Gasparini has gone to great measures to make the drills seem as real as possible. When he announces that there is a fire drill, he posts an audio recording of the school’s fire alarm telling people to evacuate the building.
To amp things up a bit, last week, Gasparini set a real fire in the school and then pulled out his phone to notify the JDHS community to evacuate their houses. Luckily, the DeWitt Fire Department showed up on the scene just minutes after the fire was set and put it out.
“I wanted to try something different for a change. I’ve always felt that it would be more inspiring to have an actual fire during a fire drill,” stated a proud Gasparini.
The JDHS community was alerted to the fire at 7:45 AM and people all around the district saw as half awake students and staff members stumbled out of their houses in their pyjamas.
“I was barely awake when I got the notification for the drill. I was so groggy that I accidentally jumped out my window in my attempt to flee my house,” stated freshman Madie Phillips.
Gasparini doesn’t plan to stop at just setting the school on fire and is considering going to students’ houses and setting their houses on fire for practice.
“In all of New York, Jamesville-DeWitt has the fastest evacuation time,” he boasted. “I want to get that time so low that no other school or district in the state can come even close to touching our record.”
After each drill, Gasparini takes to Google Classroom where he writes a very lengthy speech about how proud he is and how thankful he is for everyone’s hard work. Gasparini hopes to further implement his real fire drills when students return to school.